He was a surprise inclusion when the sides were announced at 2pm on Saturday.
Drew Talbot was handed a first competitive appearance for nine months in the opening day clash with Rochdale at Fratton Park.
It was a successful afternoon for the full-back, who helped Pompey keep a clean sheet in their 2-0 victory.
And the man himself was just as shocked as those in the stands to be given a chance to impress by boss Kenny Jackett.
“I didn’t really expect to play,” said Talbot. “I had to mentally prepare myself for that.”
“My last game had been against Bristol Rovers in the Checkatrade Trophy last November, so it’s been tough – mentally more than anything else.
“You have to make sure you don’t lose that confidence in your ability and when I came back for pre-season the gaffer just told me to have a go.
"It’s been tough – mentally more than anything else."
“He hadn’t named the team on Friday, but I was involved in the shape work we were doing for set-pieces, so that was a clue.
“I always prepare myself to play, even when I knew that I wouldn’t be involved because you have to be professional.
“It’s nice to get that win on the first day of the season because there’s always a little bit of added pressure.
“We weren’t brilliant, but at this stage of the season it’s all about results and you start to find your feet after the opening few games.”
Talbot started off in his natural position on the right side of defence, but switched to the other flank when debutant Tareiq Holmes-Dennis limped off in the first half.
He said: “I played left-back for a couple of seasons at Chesterfield, so it’s not something that was new to me.
“It was just sad that Tareiq had to go off injured and we’re all hoping that it’s nothing too serious.
“The game opened up a bit after a tentative start and there was more space for me to get forward in the second half.”
So after being given the chance to resurrect his Blues career, Talbot would clearly be in the mood to celebrate? Or perhaps not.
“I went straight to bed,” he explained. “I’m not going to lie! It’s been a long time since I played at that intensity, so I needed to chill out.”