It was a welcome return to football for Nathan Thompson.
Westleigh Park might not have provided the most glamorous of surroundings, but the defender was just happy to make his first appearance in a Pompey shirt.
The summer signing from Swindon featured for almost an hour in the reserves’ 1-0 Premier League Cup victory over Southend on Wednesday evening.
And he is hoping to be named among the substitutes when the Blues travel to table-topping Wigan this weekend.
Thompson said: “I’m feeling surprisingly good because it had been a little while since I’d stepped out onto the pitch.
"It’s been a tough couple of months for me mentally."
“Your body gets tested in games in a way that it won’t in training, so it was a relief to be out there again.
“When you pick up a few injuries on the bounce it can play on your mind, so it’s been a tough couple of months for me mentally.
“It’s been extremely frustrating and when you move to a new club it’s all about first impressions. I wanted to create the right one.
“But credit to the medical staff here who have got me back as quickly as possible and now it’s just about getting more minutes.
“I think Saturday’s too soon for me to start the game, but I’ll be travelling with the squad and we’ll see where that leads.”
Thompson anticipates a tough clash with a Wigan side who are now led by former Blues boss Paul Cook.
He said: “It’s been a relatively good start for our boys and I think we can safely say that there’s nobody too be fearful of.
“This weekend will be a decent test, though, because you would expect Wigan to be right up there at the end of the season.
“I don’t think too much has been made of us coming up against the former manager – that’s probably more for the fans.
“The lads are just focused on returning to winning ways and I’m sure both sides will be right up for it.”