Marcus Harness rues missing the ‘crazy’ south-coast derby.
Yet the winger helped crank up the Fratton Park atmosphere and brought the crowd to their feet during an impressive cameo against Bolton.
The Blues registered a second league win of the season on Saturday – and it was their substitute who proved the catalyst.
Fit again following a thigh problem, Harness was named on the bench for the visit of League One’s bottom club.
At half-time, with the scoreline goalless, Kenny Jackett’s side were booed off following an awful opening 45 minutes.
Then Harness was introduced, lifting the side considerably as they ran out 1-0 winners through Brett Pitman’s 66th-minute header.
And their summer recruit was delighted to be back in action following five matches on the sidelines.
He said: ‘I just try to make things happen and make the team play – thankfully it worked out on Saturday.
‘I think everyone knows how important that win was, a positive performance all-round, hopefully it's just the start of a good run.
‘The first half was probably even, fortunately in the second we managed to get the better of them and created the vast majority of chances, controlling the game.
‘At the interval, the manager told us to take the pressure on our shoulders, to do the right things. He told us our quality would come through – and we do have quality in the squad.
‘It was great to be involved, I was gutted to miss out on the Southampton game, it was crazy, now I know what the derby is about!
‘I enjoyed being back out there, every time we go out we try to play to the best of our ability and work as a unit – and we got three points on Saturday.’
Harness was an impressed South stand onlooker at Tuesday evening’s Carabao Cup match.
And he was heartened by his team-mates’ display.
He added: ‘I don’t think it was a bad performance against Southampton and maybe that was the game we need to kick-start our season and get us playing and taking points.
‘Obviously it’s not the start we would have wanted, but it’s still early doors.’