Ricky Holmes has refused to accept his Pompey career is over.
The winger’s move to Northampton on an initial month’s loan on Friday suggests he has no future at Fratton Park.
Not that the reigning News/Sports Mail Player of the Season is ready to admit his Blues days have ended following 62 games and two goals.
Holmes had previously turned down a switch to Cheltenham on the emergency loan window deadline day, while hadn’t made the last three Pompey squads.
With Andy Awford keen to revamp his squad, the 27-year-old’s exit was widely anticipated during the January transfer window.
But a disappointed Holmes – who opted for a month at the Cobblers rather than the remainder of the season and made his debut on Saturday in a 1-1 draw with Southend – hopes to return to Pompey.
He told The News: ‘I would like to think it hasn’t finished for me at Pompey because I have loved it there.
‘Getting player of the year just six months ago and then being told you are not good enough to get into a team that is struggling is not ideal, but it is down to the gaffer.
‘I am still contracted to Pompey until the summer so if there is an opportunity or they call me back, or when I do come back they want to get me into the team, obviously I have to fulfil it.
‘I don’t even know what the future holds, but I have not given up.
‘This is the chance to go out and play for a team where hopefully I can do well and prove to everyone I can actually play rather than be doubted by the manager.
‘It can change in a month and I should know, a month ago I was playing.
‘Football is a game of opinions. Fans have opinions, us players have opinions and the manager has opinions and it is the manager’s opinion which counts.
‘He hasn’t got a very high one of me at the minute so I have decided to go to a manager who has.
‘I had the chance to go to Cheltenham but it just wasn’t right for me. I didn’t want to leave, I was going to fight – but still couldn’t get in so it was right for me to move on now.
‘We will see how the future pans out over the next month.’
By Holmes’ own admission, he has failed to repeat the standards he set last term.
Initially hampered by a back problem, he got a run in the side from October, but hasn’t made a start since FA Cup elimination at Aldershot.
He added: ‘I will hold my hands up, I haven’t played as well as I did last season. I was carrying an injury at the start and then was getting back to sharpness in the final four games – then the bombshell.
‘Throughout the whole season I haven’t been good enough, I don’t think anyone has really.
‘It has been very inconsistent from all of us.
‘I just haven’t really been shown the loyalty I would have liked, but that’s football.’