There were a few surprises in store when the Pompey team was released an hour before kick-off.
But fans might have been scratching their heads about who would line up alongside Christian Burgess in the centre of the defence for an FA Cup fifth round clash with Arsenal.
James Bolton – usually utilised on the right – was the man to step in at Fratton Park and produced a solid display.
The Blues ultimately feel to a 2-0 defeat, with Sokratis Papastathopoulos netting just before the break and Eddie Nketiah soon after it.
Bolton felt the hosts could take plenty of pride from the contest, though, and is happy to fill in again with Burgess suspended for the next two league games.
He said: “If we’d have gone in level at half-time then it would have given us that little bit more to go for.
“But I thought the lads produced a good performance and there was a lot of talent on show for Arsenal.
"I found out that I was playing centre-back earlier in the day, but I’m happy to go wherever if it means I’m in the team."
“The aim has always been promotion and the gaffer’s rested a few players because the next few games are massive for us.
“I found out that I was playing centre-back earlier in the day, but I’m happy to go wherever if it means I’m in the team.
“If the gaffer needs me there, then that’s fine and I went there a bit when I was younger before getting shifted to right-back.
“We’ve got a big squad and it’s full of quality, so whoever gets a chance to fill in, I hope they can take it.
“If we can go to Peterborough on Saturday and pick up a result there, then that would be ideal for us.”
Bolton was involved in a challenge with Arsenal midfielder Lucas Torreira in the first half that saw the midfielder stretchered from the pitch.
He said: “It was a great tackle and I timed it really well, but it’s never nice to see someone down injured and I obviously hope it’s not too bad for him.”