Why former Wolves and Coventry man finds himself in Portsmouth cold
The Forest Green arrival has been limited to just a single League One appearance since his summer arrival at Fratton Park.
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Ben Stevenson has been told to be ready for his Pompey opportunity as his wait for meaningful action continues.
And John Mousinho has made it clear the midfielder’s lack of action this season is not his own doing, as a testing period continues.
Stevenson has got just a single league appearance under his belt amid six starts, since arriving from Forest Green last summer.
The 27-year-old has performed decently on every occasion, but Mousinho feels the former Wolves and Coventry man has been the victim of the success of his midfield peers.
He said: ‘If I have a conversation with Ben, it’s not about doing anymore.
‘I did ask him a few weeks ago that when he does come train every day and come into the side he has an impact. I think I spoke to him before the Port Vale game about that.
‘I obviously didn’t know Alex (Robertson( was going to get suspended, but what I did know was Ben was a lot closer than he thought he was.
‘Sometimes it’s a tough one when you’re out of the squad. You don’t necessarily feel a part of it and you feel a long way away.
‘Ben came in against Port Vale and did really well and was really solid against Orient in a tough environment and tough game
‘Unfortunately for Ben at the moment the players playing in front of him in that position, whether it be Marlon (Pack), Joe (Morrell) or Alex (Robertson) have done really well.
‘When Ben has stepped in he’s done really well as well, so it’s just a difficult one for him.
‘The only solace he can take is when he’s come in he’s done well and is definitely in our thoughts, in terms of selection.
‘He just needs to be ready when called upon, because it’s always better to come into a side who’s doing well.’
Mousinho pointed out it’s not just Stevenson who has cause to feel hard done by this term, as the Pompey boss utilises the squad at his disposal.
‘Ben was very solid against Orient when we didn’t have much of the ball, and I thought he was much better than that against Port Vale. In the second half in particular he was really good.
‘I left him out after that and it was the same with Sean Raggett, who was left out for Regan (Poole). There’s a couple of other players like Zak Swanson who’s been really, really good and I’ve had to leave him out.
‘Joe Rafferty in the Cambridge game after keeping a clean sheet against Carlisle, found himself out of the side at Zak’s expense. With Jack Sparkes it was the same.
‘It has happened. The way I’ve tried to speak to players about it is to say form is important, but we do also select players who we think suit certain games.
‘That’s part of the beauty of having a strong squad in our eyes. It’s having the scope to select beyond what might be the obvious.’