Simon Ferry weighed up Pompey’s midfield battle and vowed: Bring it on.
The Scottish schemer has promised he’s up for the intensified fight for his place in the Blues first team.
Ferry made his return to the side against Torquay on Saturday after a period on the sidelines with a hamstring injury.
He impressed with a man-of-them-match performance at Plainmoor, in his first appearance since limping off in the nightmare 4-2 defeat at York last month.
Guy Whittingham took immediate steps to bolster his options in the middle of the park following that woeful defeat.
Thery Racon and Gavin Mahon were recruited to up competition for places ahead of Ferry’s return.
The 25-year-old admitted he has found watching on from the stands as he recovered a tough experience.
But he welcomed the test provided by the likes of Mahon and Racon as competition begins to hot up.
Ferry said: ‘It’s never nice being on the sidelines. I hate it.
‘There’s nothing better than playing and I’m delighted to do it.
‘Am I worried about the test from other players? There are more important things in life to be worried about.
‘But all the top sides have big squads – and I’m all for it.
‘It’s a squad game, but I want to be part of it.
‘There’s definitely a good group here.
‘If we can keep the away form going as it has been and improve at home it is going to be a good season.’
Ferry’s return to the middle of midfield at Torquay saw him bring an astute and economical use of the ball to Pompey’s play.
That is typical of the former Swindon man’s game, as he has shown since arriving from the County Ground in the summer.
Pompey did struggle to turn their superior possession into the clear-cut opportunities it merited against Alan Knill’s side, however.
But Ferry believes it is imperative his team stick to the footballing philosophy being preached by Whittingham.
He feels his impact on a game would be negated if Pompey attempted a more direct approach.
Ferry said: ‘I’m playing football again and we’re playing football.
‘The manager wants us to get on the ball and stick to our football principles.
‘I’m no good when the ball is in the air. I’m better passing the ball about.
‘I’m not big enough to play any other way and don’t want to be looking up in the air all of the time.
‘We have to play, and keep to the right philosophy. We’re not panicking.
‘If you want to play that way, you have to stick to it
‘There’s no point in going half-hearted.
‘The gaffer impresses upon us that we have to keep to passing.’