A groin problem temporarily halted an encouraging start to the season for Michael Jacobs.
The midfielder was back to start Tuesday night’s Papa Johns Trophy victory over Aston Villa U21s, scoring in the 5-0 rout at Fratton Park.
But he knows that the strength of Pompey’s squad means it will be a battle to reclaim a place in the side.
And Jacobs believes they have the right mix in their ranks to build on a successful opening to the campaign.
He said: “I’d picked up a niggly groin injury and the international break helped me get over it, so I was happy to be back out there and to score.
“The boys have been doing really well and it’s up to me to work hard, bide my time and get back in the team.
"We’ve recruited some good, experienced players and there is a nice blend with boys who have real potential."
“You have to be patient and when opportunities come along like this one, you have to be ready to take them.
“We’ve recruited some good, experienced players and there is a nice blend with boys who have real potential.
“There’s a really nice balance to our squad and it’s important to have those options for all different circumstances.”
Pompey came charging out of the blocks against the young Villans, with Jacobs adding to Ronan Curtis’ opener inside seven minutes.
He said: “It was a good result for us and we played pretty well – having a decent start was vital after the result at the weekend.
“There were fringe and young players out there and the result just showed what a decent group we’ve got here.
“These games can be quite difficult, but we set the tempo early on and it was nice to score so many goals.”