It was his first appearance for Pompey since New Year’s Day.
So Oli Hawkins was pleased to be back on the pitch for their midweek FA Cup replay defeat at QPR after recovering from a calf injury.
The striker will hope to keep his place in the side when the Blues visit Plymouth in League One on Saturday.
But Hawkins knows there is now more competition in the club’s forward line following the arrivals of Omar Bogle and James Vaughan.
He said: “I enjoyed getting out on the pitch again the other day and being able to get back into the groove.
“It was tough to return against a side who play in a league above and there were a few cobwebs, but I felt I did okay.
"You need healthy competition in any side and we’ve brought in a couple of forwards, but I’m ready for the challenge."
“Now I’m looking forward to being available for the rest of the season and it’s up to me to make sure I get selected.
“The calf feels fine now and I’m just concentrating on getting back to full fitness and doing the best I can to perform for the team.
“You need healthy competition in any side and we’ve brought in a couple of forwards, but I’m ready for the challenge.”
Hawkins’ last league appearance against AFC Wimbledon was also the last time they collected three points.
He said: “It’s been a hard run of games and we have to get through this sticky patch and put together another winning run.
“Plymouth will be tough for us and I know there’s bit of history there, so hopefully we can get a victory on Saturday.”