Kenny Jackett has revealed the reasons behind James Vaughan’s Rochdale omission.
And the Wigan loanee’s axing opens the door once more to forgotten man Louis Dennis.
Vaughan was a surprise absentee from the Blues’ match-day 18 on duty for Saturday’s 4-1 defeat of Rochdale.
Although struggling for match minutes, the transfer-window arrival has been a bench regular when fit.
However, on Saturday, Jackett recalled Dennis among his seven substitutes – following 12 matches spent in the stands.
As a consequence, Vaughan dropped out, representing another blow in a frustrating loan consisting of seven substitute outings and no starts.
While for Dennis, finally there may now be the opportunity to feature in Pompey’s promotion run-in.
Jackett said: ‘It was just selection, James was fully fit – I just decided to go with somebody slightly different.
‘With the likes of Hawkins and Omar Bogle in, I wanted somebody different. Louis Dennis can cover maybe one or two different positions and formations.
‘Louis has done very well this year without getting many opportunities, but we’ve been pretty strong going forward.
‘It is tough for him, but I want to keep him encouraged because he is a player I do believe in.
‘It’s just one or two different positions, that’s where it was on Saturday.
‘Being able to change formation at the right time is quite important.’
Vaughan has played 142 minutes of first-team football since arriving on transfer deadline day.
His most recent appearance was a 16-minute spell off the bench in last month’s 3-2 success at Walsall.