Richie Barker lauded the return to first-team action of forgotten man Romain Padovani.
And he backed the Frenchman’s impressive enthusiasm to get him many other opportunties during his reign as Pompey boss.
Padovani was handed his first Blues league start since August for yesterday’s visit of Dagenham & Redbridge.
The result was the ex-AS Monaco midfielder heading in the only goal of the game as a 1-0 victory marked a first win in 10 attempts for Pompey.
Padovani can now expect to keep his place for Sunday’s visit of Northampton – and Barker admits he has caught his eye.
‘He has been champing at the bit to fair to him. He has a fantastic attitude and has been extremely unlucky not to have had a game so far,’ said Barker.
‘It’s his sheer enthusiasm. He’s the sort of kid you would imagine playing on the street if he wasn’t a pro footballer.
‘He’s a fantastic athlete and, hopefully, we can get him fit. But for him to do what he did for the first time in the league since October (as a sub) is excellent.
‘I think he is one of those who needs working on. My French isn’t great to be honest and his English is about as good as my French, so it is going to be tough. But the one thing you know you are going to get from him is enthusiasm, work-rate and he will keep going because he wants to play football.
‘There may be different things we have to shift about to make sure he is in the right place in the team in certain formations but that is part of the reason I went with the three yesterday to give him more of a chance.’