Louis Thompson showed a glimpse of what he is capable of after being handed his first league start for Pompey.
The midfielder played the opening 70 minutes of a 1-1 draw with Cheltenham on Tuesday evening before being replaced by Shaun Williams.
He has been eased into the side by Danny Cowley, who is mindful of the injury problems that have plagued the 26-year-old in recent years.
Thompson knows that is the right approach, but feels he will soon be ready to feature in full matches for the Blues.
He said: “I’ve got to build on that game, but I’m certainly pleased to be out there and the body is feeling good.
“It’s really easy to forget the rhythm that you get into when you’re out there playing week in, week out.
“I’m happy with where I am physically at the moment and feel that I’ve been making some really good progress.
“I don’t think I’m far away from 90 minutes at all and could have done it on Tuesday, but Willo was probably able to provide more quality in those closing stages with where my legs were at.
"I’m happy with where I am physically at the moment and feel that I’ve been making some really good progress."
“There have been times in the past where I’ve felt tired, pushed through that and then paid the price for doing so.
“I’ve learnt from that and am in a much better place – both physically and mentally. That experience is key.
“I’m pain free at the moment and enjoying my football – which, ultimately, is what I’ve been looking for.”
Pompey had to settle for a point against the Robins, with Reeco Hackett cancelling out Lewis Freestone’s opener.
Thompson said: “It was frustrating because we could have gone on to win, but we showed some character after falling behind.
“Now we need to build on that and continue to improve. We’ll work hard on the training pitch to find solutions to our problems.
“We know there’s enough quality in our squad to go on and win more games and, ultimately, we need to be doing that.
“Everyone strives for perfection, but it’s a work in progress. We have to stick together and trust the process.”