Portsmouth striker Brett Pitman's message to Kenny Jackett - play me and I'll score
Brett Pitman delivered a timely reminder of his goal-scoring talents and insisted: I have nothing to prove.
The half-time substitute netted in the fourth minute of time added on to finally overcome spirited non-league Altrincham on Saturday.
Until his dramatic intervention, it appeared an FA Cup second-round replay at Moss Lane was on the cards, with the score deadlocked at 1-1.
The free-scoring striker has failed to start the past nine matches for Kenny Jackett’s side – an absence influenced by injury and selection policy.
Yet last weekend he climbed off the bench to set up Ryan Williams’ goal in the 3-0 win at Rochdale.
Then against Altrincham, Pitman’s header at the death earned Pompey progress into the FA Cup third round.
And with 42 goals in 96 games for the club, he dismissed the notion he needs to impress his manager.
Pitman said: ‘I came on at number 9 last week and then number 10 this week, I am not overly bothered where I play, to be honest.
‘I think the gaffer knows what I can do, I think he knows if I play I’ll score goals, my career proves that and certainly my time here proves that.
‘Obviously, with us winning it has been difficult to get back into the side, we will see what happens, it’s a long season, everyone is working hard to push up the league.
‘And it’s nice to get into the next round of the cup.
‘I don’t think you lose the ability to score goals whatever happens.
‘I would like to think I bring a lot more than goals to the team, I can beat a player, be inventive in the final third when I get the ball at my feet. I think the manager knows what I can bring.’
Saturday was Pitman’s first goal since grabbing the winner over Bolton at the end of September.
It takes his tally to four for a campaign which could yet prove to be his last, with an existing three-year deal expiring in the summer.
In the meantime, he has hauled the Blues into the next round of the FA Cup following a tough afternoon against National League North Altrincham.
Pitman added: ‘They played some nice football and knocked the ball around. It’s almost cliched but it was their cup final, they had nothing to lose, they certainly raised their game.
‘You are not going to be fluent or brilliant every week, you have to find ways to win football matches.
‘There will be league games where we don’t play well and find a way, they’ll be league games when we’ll play well and don’t get what we deserve – that’s the beauty of it.’