Dan Potts’ Pompey future will come under swift scrutiny when Richie Barker today takes over the reins.
The left-back has just one more game remaining of his initial month-long loan spell from West Ham.
Next Saturday’s visit of Newport County would represent his fifth Blues appearance, with his stay ending days later.
With Dan Butler currently sidelined by injury during his Aldershot loan spell, Marcos Painter is the only other natural left-back in the squad.
It would leave Barker with a decision to make over extending the 19-year-old’s stay.
Regardless, out-going caretaker boss Andy Awford has been impressed by Potts’ contribution so far.
He said: ‘With Dan arriving, Guy wanted a different left-back in and a left-footer to give balance in the team.
‘I agree with him – you need the balance, the managers that I worked for in the past always talked about balance of teams and that is something you need, ideally.
‘If you have three injuries and they are all left-footers then you have to make do with what you’ve got, of course you do, but in the main if you’ve got balance then I think it’s better – and Dan gives us that.
‘I think if you would ask most whether they would rather play in West Ham’s reserves or in a first team, they want to play in the first-team environment and get some Football League experience, which he is doing and he is happy.’
Potts made his Blues bow in the 2-1 home defeat to Scunthorpe in what proved to be Whittingham’s final match in charge.
He subsequently featured in all three of Awford’s matches at the helm – including the goalless draw at Hartlepool, which ended five successive defeats.
Now Barker must consider whether to extend the youngster’s loan – that is if the Hammers themselves would allow it.
Awford added: ‘Dan has been solid, you can see he’s a good footballer.
‘He probably needs a few games to get used to League Two because it is a different world to the development squad football which he has played for the majority of this season.
‘But he’s done well, trained fine, got on with it, no problem.’