Michael Appleton has challenged Jack Compton to fulfil his potential at Pompey.
The Blues boss believes Compton is finally maturing as a player after sometimes proving to be a difficult talent to manage in the past.
Appleton praised the development the 23-year-old has made since returning to Fratton Park.
That’s after his release from the club he came through the ranks at in 2008.
Now his manager wants to see him prove it is his time to shine this season.
Appleton said: ‘I know a lot about Jack.
‘He came to West Brom and played in my youth team for two seasons after leaving Portsmouth.
‘I know his dad very well – he was my head of recruitment for youth at West Brom when I was assistant academy manager.
‘We worked together, so when I heard Jack was available and without a club [the move came about].
‘He needed to do a lot of growing up – and he realised that.
‘When he was a young kid he had his moments but I think he has done a lot of growing up.
‘He’s one who wants to get better and better.
‘I sat down with him and told him, if you are prepared to sign for Portsmouth you will leave the club a better player. That’s the only thing I can guarantee.
‘He’s got bags of ability but it will be about him backing up a performance with another good performance.
‘Don’t promise and promise to fulfil potential – fulfil it.
‘That’s the difference between potential and arriving and it being your time.’
Compton has already shown he has talent in his locker in his Pompey appearances to date.
Appleton is trying to evolve the winger’s game to get the best from him.
He feels Compton is the type of character he may need to treat with kid gloves to do that.
The Blues boss said: ‘He’s not one you can scream and shout at.
‘If you did that he might start crying! I’m aware of that.
‘Different people need treating differently and managing.
‘Some, with a rollicking, go the other way and want to say “I’ll show you”.
‘But Jack isn’t going to get angry if I have a pop at him and scream and shout.
‘I’ll demand what I want from him in a room – just me and him. I don’t need to do that in front of other people.
‘He’s a natural winger but I’m almost trying to coach that out of him.
‘We don’t want him to be a natural winger the way we play. I want him to have that in the bag because he will need to beat someone one v one and get in crosses.
‘But I want him to be more intelligent and get himself in areas where he can have an effect on the full-back.
‘Then when the ball does go to his feet it’s up to him to do what he does naturally.’