QPR loanee: I'm ready to challenge Portsmouth star man
David Wheeler weighed up his unenviable task to dislodge Jamal Lowe and insisted: I'm ready to seize my chance.
The QPR loanee will tonight be handed only his third Pompey start following an August arrival.
The impressive form of Lowe on the right of the attacking three has proven a frustrating barrier toÂ Wheeler's first-team aspirations.
Lowe has seven goals this season, establishing him as the Blues' leading scorer, and remains a chief creative presence for the League One table-toppers.
Wheeler netted his second goal of the campaign after replacing the former Hampton & Richmond player in the weekend FA Cup victory over Maidenhead.
And the 28-year-old tonight has the opportunity to again catch the eye when he starts against Spurs under-21s in the Checkatrade Trophy.
He said: '˜JamsÂ has been a big part in the success this season and deserves his place.
'˜That's just the way it has fallen and I will obviously just be working hard to play when I can.
'˜I need some good minutes to make sure I am fully match fit, so when I am needed in the league and the cup games I'm fully ready to take it.
'˜I hadn't seen too much of Jams before I came to the club, andÂ as much as his ability on the pitch, there isÂ how humble he is off the pitch, and it's a credit to him.
'˜Of course it has been frustrating, any footballer wants to start week in, week out and be involved in the team and to experience Saturday afternoons.
'˜I am definitely frustrated, but just try to approach it in the right way.
'˜You don't want to wish ill on the team because you are part of the squad and want the best for the lads you are with day-to-day '“Â and at aÂ club you are committed to.
'˜You have to keep yourself fit, positive and just take the chance as and when it comes, whether through hard work and you are training well or whether there's a fortuitous circumstance.'
Wheeler, who has nine Blues appearances, missed three games with an ankle injury last month.
That set-back has ensured his Fratton Park time has still to take off in pursuit of regular football.
He added: '˜I wouldn'tÂ say QPR are happy with me not playing.
'˜I wouldn't imagine they would be happy about it, but it's one of those things.
'˜When I was there at the start of the season, opportunities for me were limited asÂ they've got a relatively big squad '“ so it's more about what's best for me.'