Richie Barker has called on ‘nomadic’ Jake Jervis to lay roots and make Pompey his home beyond the summer.
The in-form striker has bagged four goals in eight matches during an impressive start to his second spell with the Blues.
He will once again lead the line at Chesterfield tonight (7.45pm) having hit the match-winner in the previous fixture against Accrington Stanley.
The short-term deal Jervis penned in January expires at the end of the season.
Barker is well aware should the 22-year-old maintain his goal-scoring form there is likely to be interest in the summer.
But the Blues boss believes Jervis, who has played for nine different clubs in his career so far, is happy at Fratton Park.
He feels it is important the striker now settles down.
Barker said: ‘Jake has been a bit nomadic for the last three years, shifting about all over the place obviously incorporating a part in Turkey that didn’t really work out so I think he is enjoying his time.
‘A new contract is something we will probably talk about later in the season.
‘We need to keep him hungry, make him work for it.
‘From discussions we had when we first signed him, I would expect that if we decided we wanted to do something longer he wouldn’t be a million miles away from signing.
‘There is always that opportunity that somebody else could get him but that is the risk we both had to take in January. We had to take it because we wanted him to be hungry.
‘When I first came in, one of the issues I found here was that there was no incentivised contracts.
‘People had two or three-year contracts and didn’t have to earn them.
‘Jake has got to want to stay, he has also got to appreciate where is the best place for him to move his career forward and who are the right people for him to work under.
‘And obviously we can give him the experience he had the other night and that was scoring the winning goal in front of 13,000 people – and a good winning goal as well.
‘They are the sort of things that have to be taken into consideration.’
After playing youth football at Wolves and Shrewsbury, Jervis came through the ranks at Birmingham.
He went on to make loan appearances at Hereford, Notts County, Swindon, Preston, Carlisle, Tranmere and Pompey.
Then he joined Elazigspor before returning to Fratton at the turn of the year.
Barker added: ‘I think Jake needs a home.
‘Somewhere where he can say “I know I am going to be here a while, I know that somebody is going to work on my game, I know that somebody is going to believe in me, I know somebody is going to improve me”.
‘He will be here if he keeps doing all right, if he doesn’t then he won’t be.’