Adam Webster believes his patience has paid off as he grabbed his Pompey opportunity with both hands.
The 20-year-old Blues centre-back turned in a commanding display in defence on his first League Two start of the campaign as Paul Cook’s men sealed a 1-0 win at Newport County.
Matt Tubbs netted the only goal of the game in first-half stoppage time after some great work from Kyle Bennett to open up a stubborn Newport defence.
But it was Webster, in partnership with Christian Burgess at the heart of the defence, who really caught the eye with a faultless performance as he got the nod ahead of Matt Clarke.
Webster said: ‘It is hard to be patient at times.
‘It’s frustrating watching from the sidelines because you just want to be out there.
‘But when the team is near the top of the league, what can you do?
‘I knew my time would come and I’m glad that I have taken my chance.
‘It’s a good result, a clean sheet and now we move on to the next game.
‘The manager didn’t make a big deal out of it but I knew I was playing the day before.
‘I came on last week and thought I did alright so I was hoping I would play.
‘You’re always a little bit nervous, especially when it’s your first league start of the season.
‘I played a few cup games but when you haven’t played for a while, you have to make sure you do things properly.
‘You want to be ready and up for it, but you also don’t want to put too much pressure on yourself.
‘You can’t be too laid back either so you just get your head down.
‘There were a few nerves but you win that first header and get that first pass out of the way and then you settle into it after that.
‘I’m delighted. It wasn’t the prettiest of games but we got the result and that’s all that matters.’
The defender from West Wittering in Chichester has a long association with Pompey and has come through the Academy system.
After making his debut under Michael Appleton as a 17-year-old, it’s taken time for him to establish himself in the first-team plans under subsequent managers.
But he had a run in the side in his favoured central position towards the end of last season and now has the opportunity to become a fixture under Paul Cook.
Webster said: ‘We’ve got Christian Burgess and Matt Clarke and the three of us have all done well this season so it’s a headache for the gaffer.
‘At the end of last season, Gary Waddock put me in at centre-back and it gave me a chance to show everyone what I can do.
‘But now hopefully, I can stay there – that’s the plan.
‘There will be plenty of times over a season when we have to dig in as a team to get the result we need.’