Injuries and suspensions have kept Christian Burgess out of the side before.
But last Saturday’s match at Oldham was the first time he had been omitted from the first team in favour of someone else.
The centre-back – who played a key role in last season’s League Two title triumph – is not sulking about the decision, however.
Burgess instead knows that the best way to win back his place in the side is through old-fashioned hard work.
“You just have to keep doing what you’re doing,” he says in the official matchday magazine for today’s match against Oxford.
“I like to think that I’m professional in my attitude, so will get my head down and continue working hard.
“Look at Danny Rose, who has had spells out of the team. You take bits from how guys like him handled it and keep supporting the boys who are in the team, while waiting for your opportunity to come along again.
“I was as delighted as anyone to see us win at Oldham because we needed that result, as well as the clean sheet.
“It was a gutsy performance in difficult conditions and that takes the pressure of everybody. I was really proud of how – in every department – we stood up to the test.”
To read the full interview – where Burgess also discusses home form and how he still believes Pompey are a community club – pick up a copy of the magazine from programme sellers around the ground.
Also in issue 24, Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain reveals his favourite things, while Jamal Lowe takes the Home & Away quiz.
We take an in-depth look at Oxford, while there are exclusive columns from Mark Catlin, Kenny Jackett and Brett Pitman.
All this and much, much more in a packed 84 pages is available for just £3.