Midfielder steps into centre-back role
Pompey had only two fully-fit centre-backs to choose from ahead of their Boxing Day visit to Leyton Orient.
So it was unfortunate that one of them got sent off midway through the first half at the Matchroom Stadium.
Adam Webster’s dismissal meant that midfielder Adam Barton was thrown on in a defensive capacity.
But he was certainly not the reason for a 3-2 defeat and is ready to go again if called upon to do a similar role against Luton on Bank Holiday Monday.
The summer signing said: “I’ve played there a few times before in reserve games and in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, but nothing major.
“It was tough to come on in those circumstances because it’s not my natural position and we were up against a side who just want to pump it long.
“All I could do was my best to help the team and that’s what I tried to do. I’ll be prepared if I need to play there again.
“Obviously defending isn’t the strongest part of my game, but if the manager needs me then I’m happy to do the job.
“We’ve only got one day to recover, but we’re glad that we’ve got another game around the corner to try to put things right.”
Defeat looked a certainty when Pompey trailed 3-1, only for Gareth Evans to pull a goal back and ensure a breathless finale.
Ultimately, though, the Blues were unable to find a late leveller and suffered just a third league loss of the season.
Barton said: “When I was sat on the bench and we went 1-0 up, I thought it could be a comfortable victory because we were dominating.
“But football obviously doesn’t always work out like you plan and we knew that the sending off would put us under pressure.
“Conceding so late in the first half meant that we came out with a mountain to climb, but we stuck at the task, gave it a good go and were unlucky not to get something from the game.”