Miles Storey has been assured he is still a big part of the Pompey plans.
The on-loan Swindon forward was surprisingly left out of Andy Awford’s 18-man matchday squad for the 0-0 draw at Hartlepool, with new loan signing Michael Drennan taking his place on the bench.
Storey has scored just one goal in 12 appearances so far this term but has yet to open his account in League Two with his strike coming in the Capital One Cup success over Peterborough back in early August.
But Awford insists the pacy 20-year-old’s season-long loan will not be cut short and more opportunities will come his way.
Awford said: ‘There is competition all over the place.
‘It was difficult to leave Miles out of the squad and it was difficult to leave Ben Close out as well.
‘We have strength in depth on the bench.
‘Andy Barcham did well against Dagenham when he came on and did okay against Wycombe.
‘I just felt Andy was the better wide player to have on the bench for this game, rather than Miles.
‘Next week, it could be different.
‘Miles has certainly not done too much wrong.
‘It was just my preference this time.
‘He is a young lad and will get plenty of opportunities, there is no doubt about that.
‘It’s not like he’s here for a month – he’s here for the season.
‘You go with your instincts and do what you do to pick the squad for each game.
‘Other players have also been left out at times.
‘He is part of the plans for the whole season.
‘It’s not like we’re not playing him because he’s going back next week.
‘He will get his opportunity and it’s down to him to take it when it comes along.’