Patrick Agyemang received praise from Alan McLoughlin after completing his maiden 90 minutes of the season.
The striker was appointed captain for the Pompey reserve fixture at the Nene Park Academy yesterday afternoon.
He helped the Blues pull off a 3-2 victory over Peterborough as their campaign in the revamped format got off to an excellent start.
A hamstring injury on the eve of the season had sidelined Agyemang until last weekend, when he made a substitute appearance at Burton.
And yesterday Pompey’s first-team coach was pleased with the next hurdle cleared in the popular forward’s push for a first-team start.
McLoughlin said: ‘I am delighted for Pat Agyemang getting 90 minutes under his belt, that was really important considering he has been out for a while.
‘I thought he was excellent. I made him captain for a reason and thought he led by example.
‘I actually set challenges for Pat to have shots at goal, Barchy (Andy Barcham) to have crosses and Jack Maloney to get crosses into the box and, thankfully, they have taken it on board.
‘Pat can be outrageous with one great bit of skill at one time, but sometimes I want him in the box scoring a tap-in from four yards out.
‘He does some magical stuff from outside the box, he did very well the other day against Burton coming on and holding the ball up.
‘But we still want our centre-forward in the box at the times scoring goals.
‘What he offers outside the box can be brilliant. I also know we need him in the box to score some goals.’
Barcham, Adam Webster, Dan Butler and Ben Close also started the reserve fixture, while keeper Michael Poke was given a first 90 minutes following his return from injury.
Meanwhile, there was credit also for Miles Storey who netted in the win, along with Barcham and Close.
McLoughlin added: ‘Miles, again, looked sharp so there were lots of positives in the game.
‘He scored a first-half penalty which was well done because the last penalty he took he missed for Swindon in the play-offs against Brentford – I was commenting on that match for their local radio station.
‘We could have scored 10, we got three, but won the game – as they were asked to do.’