Kenny Jackett has conceded nobody benefited from Conor Chaplin’s protracted Pompey stalemate.
And he has delivered his best wishes to the departed striker after finally sealing a Coventry switch.
The Sky Blues’ dogged pursuit of Chaplin developed into the transfer saga of the summer centre, spanning almost two months.
Pompey were resolute in not letting the wantaway 21-year-old exit until a replacement had been found.
It’s a club-come-first approach which Jackett recognises as impacting upon Chaplin’s footballing mindset.
In the end, following Andre Green’s recruitment, both parties were finally allowed to split.
Jackett said: ‘I wish Conor all the best, I understand his wish for a fresh start at Coventry and he has that now.
‘I wanted my front line to look as strong as it possibly could before we released him – and with Green coming in we feel we now have the numbers and hopefully firepower to take us forwards.
‘You do get into a situation sometimes with players that you realize you might not get the best out of them because they are people as well.
‘It's not always easy to necessarily find that compromise, but he wanted that fresh start and, as a club, we needed to get ourselves into a scenario where our attacking positions had enough options to be able to grant him his wish.
‘Conor’s attitude was very, very good, his character’s very good, but obviously you get down about things.
‘If your mind is set on a fresh start and you are working into the last year of your contract – as you could sometimes see with Kal Naismith last year – there are times you cannot get the best out of a player.
‘I do think you get into a situation sometimes where nobody wins – and that it doesn’t necessarily benefit anybody anyway.
‘Most of my managerial career I have played one up front and, apart from the Luton game, it has been 4-2-3-1 here. Does he play the nine? Does he play the 10?
‘And before with Paul (Cook) it was 4-2-3-1. So for the majority of his time, it has been Conor trying to get into a 4-2-3-1.’
Chaplin made 122 appearances and scored 25 times for Pompey after emerging through the Academy.
He has now joined Coventry on loan until January, when the £500,000 move will be made permanent.