It was his first start – and just second league appearance – since a narrow defeat to Luton at the end of January.
But Brett Pitman made the most of his return to the side by helping Pompey secure a 3-2 victory over Walsall.
The Blues skipper opened the scoring from the penalty spot following a push on Nathan Thompson, with Omar Bogle and Viv Solomon-Otabor increasing the lead at the Bescot Stadium.
Jon Guthrie restored some pride for the Saddlers with a late headed brace, but Pitman felt it was the right result.
He said: “I think the 3-2 scoreline actually flatters them a bit because we probably should have won by more goals.
“We just conceded a couple of sloppy ones right at the end, but overall I thought the signs were quite encouraging.
"I enjoyed playing in a deeper role where I can get the ball into my feet and try to make things happen by arriving late in the box."
“It looked to me like a push for the penalty, although it was tough to see where I was. Sometimes you get them and sometimes you don’t.
“I’ve always taken them, so there aren’t really any nerves. You’re expected to score, but even if I miss, then I’ll step up for the next one.
“I enjoyed playing in a deeper role where I can get the ball into my feet and try to make things happen by arriving late in the box.”
Pitman – who played just behind Bogle – admitted that it was a relief to be back in action following a spell out of the side.
He said: “It’s been difficult because you don’t want to be sat at home on a Saturday afternoon when the lads are away.
“You’re training with three or others in the morning and nobody wants that, but I’ve knuckled down and worked hard to force my way back in.
“I joined Pompey because I believed they were a big club – and I still do. I never thought about leaving.”