Aaron McCarey has shrugged off any concerns about being thrown straight into the Pompey deep end for tomorrow’s League Two trip to Bristol Rovers.
The 23-year-old goalkeeper arrived on an emergency one-month loan from Wolves on Wednesday and trained with his new team-mates for the first time yesterday.
Although the Irishman admits he still has a few names to learn among his new colleagues, he insists he will be up to speed in time for the visit to the Memorial Stadium as Pompey protect their unbeaten league record.
But with seven senior appearances for Wolves and previous loan spells at Walsall and York under his belt, he has useful experience to call upon.
McCarey said: ‘I’ve come in even later than this before.
‘When I went to Walsall in my first loan move in the Football League, I came in on the morning of the match so I didn’t even have a training session with the lads.
‘This is like being here for pre-season!
‘It’s good to get a couple of sessions in and get to know people but it’s just about building up that understanding and getting on with it.
‘As a goalkeeper, you’ve still got to do the same things – kick it, catch it and save it.
‘Communication is a big part of it but it doesn’t change that much from team to team.
‘It’s about giving them information and most of the time, they have heard it before from the previous keepers.
‘I don’t see it being a big stumbling block at all.
‘I can’t wait to get started.’
It’s been more than a year since McCarey’s last taste of first-team football – a Capital One Cup defeat to Northampton – but he knows that it’s down to him to grab his chance.
He said: ‘It can be a bit demoralising at times when you are not playing.
‘As a keeper, you know that only one can play but we are a rare breed because the goalkeepers at a club are all usually best pals.
‘You never wish an injury on anyone but if your opportunity comes, you’ve got to grasp it and that’s what I will be looking to do here.
‘It’s hard to get into the side but you’ve got to be ready when that chance comes and do your best to stay there.’
And after a glowing reference from Wolves team-mate and ex-Pompey star Jed Wallace, McCarey was eager to put pen to paper.
He said: ‘It was a straightforward decision.
‘I was halfway down the motorway before the deal was done.
‘Jed is a great fella and told me a lot about the club and he told me there is a Jed Wallace stand down here – no, he didn’t really!
‘It’s been a difficult couple of years but it looks like a club on the up again.
‘They are still getting big attendances in League Two, which is remarkable, so it shows how passionate the Pompey fans are.
‘I can’t wait to play in front of them.’