Danny Rose has not been sulking about his recent exclusion from the team.
Stuart O’Keefe and Ben Close have been Kenny Jackett’s preferred central midfield duo for recent League One games.
But Rose was one of several changes for Tuesday evening’s Checkatrade Trophy group stage victory over Crawley.
And he was eager to make the most of his first start for the Blues since a draw at Wigan at the end of August.
Rose said: “It was nice to be out there playing competitive football because you do miss it when you’re out of the side.
“Every professional at some point in their career has been in that position and it’s something I’ve had to deal with before.
"Despite not being in the team you have to be mentally strong and believe that your chance will come along."
“You’ve just got to be fit and ready for when you’re called upon – coming in on days off and doing extra bits after training.
“Despite not being in the team you have to be mentally strong and believe that your chance will come along.”
Goals from Matt Clarke, Oliver Hawkins and Stuart O’Keefe secured the win at a sparsely-populated Fratton Park.
Rose said: “Playing in front of the fans – especially with the crowds we get – it does give you that something extra.
“But when there are only 1,500 people inside the ground you know that’s something you have to generate yourself.
“I think you could tell from our work-rate that we did that and we were able to see the game out to get the win. There were a lot of changes and the lads who came in wanted to do themselves justice.
“We contained Crawley quite well, although if they’d had their shooting boots on they might have caused Luke McGee a few more problems.”
Clarke’s goal was the best of the night, as he advanced from the back and teed-up Curtis Main before reacting quickly when the striker’s shot was saved.
Rose said: “You know he’s got that in him and I can sit back in if he goes on one of those amazing runs. He got the reward for his perseverance.”