ADAM BUXTON laid down a Pompey marker as he vowed: I’m here to play.
The new recruit is preparing for a duel with Drew Talbot to start at right-back as the Blues welcome the dawning of a new campaign against Carlisle today.
Buxton sealed a one-year deal on Thursday after leaving Accrington Stanley and will be a versatile option in full-back areas.
But the 24-year-old explained it’s predominantly on the right side where he will be competing for playing time.
Buxton accepted he will start as second choice after completing a move he felt was too good to turn down.
The Scouser isn’t coming in to make up the numbers, though.
Buxton said: ‘My mindset going into the season was I was signing for Accrington.
‘For one reason or another that didn’t get over the line.
‘But when a club of Portsmouth’s size come calling you can’t really turn it down.
‘It’s great to get it done and I’m looking forward to getting going.
‘The club speaks for itself. You only have to look at the fanbase.
‘It’s a massive club which shouldn’t be in this league.
‘I think we can go again when we get out of it.
‘I think I’ll be playing right-back, but last season was a full season at left-back for Accrington.
‘I don’t mind. It’s either-or really, but it looks like I’ll be fighting for the place at right-back.
‘Obviously, I’m not coming here to make up the numbers.
‘I want to get in the team and, once I get in the team, I don’t want to come out of it.
‘Everyone wants to play games. No-one wants to sit on the bench. It’s not nice.
‘I fully understand I’m coming in as second choice at the minute.
‘But I’m confident in my own ability and, once I’m in the team, I’ll stay in the team.’
Buxton is playing catch-up after picking up a groin injury which has slowed his progress in pre-season.
The former Wigan trainee feels he is fit enough to be in contention for playing time from the outset of the campaign, though.
The target is clear enough for him, however, as he settles into his new surroundings.
He knows the expectations are high as Pompey begin their fourth campaign in League Two – but so are the rewards.
‘I think this is going to be a special season for Portsmouth as a whole,’ added Buxton.
‘That’s what I knew coming here.
‘The club are expected to go up – and I fully believe that’s what they are going to do this season.
‘I want to be a part of that.
‘I know the way the manager wants to play.
‘It’s similar to the way I played at Wigan.
‘The full-backs are high, get involved, join in with the front men and get crosses into the box.
‘That’s exactly what I like to do.’