Guy Whittingham has assured Ryan Bird: Your Pompey chance will come again in the future.
The striker joined non-league neighbours Hawks on a month’s loan this week after failing to grab a regular place in the Blues first team following his summer arrival from Burnham.
But Whittingham – himself a graduate from the non-league ranks during his own playing career – believes Bird just needs more time and regular games to help him make the transition.
The Blues boss said: ‘It possibly underlines the jump from non-league to League Two.
‘Ryan has come from part-time football into full-time football and it’s a heck of a step up.
‘He’s come into a situation where we have got some good strikers and he hasn’t been able to force his way through because they have played so well.
‘Ryan has done well in training. He has been a good addition to the squad with the way he fits in and he is a really good character. But he needs games.
‘It’s not the end of the road for him – of course not.
‘It’s an opportunity for him to play. He will still train with us, so it’s not as if he will go off and not come back.’
Hawks boss Lee Bradbury has been interested in the 25-year-old since the start of the season.
And Whittingham believes the close relationship between the clubs played its part in sealing a deal which is seen as beneficial for all parties.
He said: ‘To be fair to Bradders (Bradbury), he always wanted me to let him know when we were thinking about putting Ryan out on loan.
‘It’s a good bond we’ve got with them at Havant.
‘The two clubs get on really well and they have helped us out on a fair few occasions, so we’re pleased we can do that.’