Lee Brown regards Brandon Haunstrup as one of the best left-backs he's played with.
The former Bristol Rovers man rates the Pompey academy graduate highly – and understands his frustrations regarding a lack of first-team minutes.
Haunstrup was restricted to just 12 appearances last season following the arrival of Brown.
Only five of those arrived in League One, though, while he didn't feature after the Checkatrade Trophy quarter-final win over Peterborough on January 22.
Despite playing a support-act role to Brown, the first choice left-back insists he’s pushed to be at his best every day in training.
And it’s between Haunstrup and Blackpool’s Marc Bola – who’s been linked with a move to Championship Luton – as the most talented players he’s competed with for a starting berth.
Brown said: ‘Without a shadow of doubt he pushes me.
‘I was telling Ellis (Harrison) how good he is and I rate him very highly.
‘When you're a young lad coming through, it’s tough. I had it at QPR and it wasn’t until I went somewhere else I got a chance.
‘I rate Brandon very highly. He has got a bit of everything and he's probably one of the best people I’ve competed with throughout my career.
‘I've had to compete with some good full-backs like Marc Bola, who's now at Blackpool.
‘It’s out of him and Brandon who’ve pushed me the most.
‘It’s a squad game and not just about me or Brandon.
‘It’s not me against Brandon. If we got promoted, it's good for both of us.
‘Of course I want to play and he does but the club’s bigger than both of us.
‘It’s the manager’s decision. I know if I’m not performing then Brandon will play.’
Haunstrup amassed 20 outings in the 2017-18 campaign – his breakthrough season.
While he’s yet to have a real run in the starting XI, Brown insists the 22-year-old is more than capable.
‘When you’re young you need a run of games to find your feet.
‘It's nice coming in for a couple of games but you need a good run of games.
‘Brandon hasn’t had that yet but his time will definitely come because he's improving all of the time.’