Scott Allan has been told: You will play at Pompey.
The Blues are weighing up the best way to utilise the Scottish midfielder and his undoubted attacking talent.
Allan was on the bench in Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Tranmere after Pompey’s caretaker boss Guy Whittingham went with a 4-3-3 cum 4-5-1 formation at Prenton Park.
That follows on from the 21-year-old being withdrawn at Coventry at the interval, after a change in the way the side was set up in the first-half.
Allan so nearly won the game at league leaders Tranmere with the last kick after being introduced late on.
The loanee from West Brom produced a trademark surge into the box that ended with the ball rolling inches wide of the post.
That was typical of his willingness to engage opposing defenders.
Whittingham explained Pompey’s coaching staff are looking at how to best utilise Allan’s talents within the framework of the team.
Allan renewed his loan stay at Pompey at the end of last month, after making 20 appearances for the Blues to date.
Caretaker boss Whittingham promised Allan will not stay on the sidelines despite missing out at the weekend.
He said: ‘Scotty is a guy with great ability. You see him on the training pitch day in, day out and you can see why West Brom think a lot of him. He’s got great vision, great touch, good skill on the ball and he will be used.
‘We’re looking at the best way to use him because we want to use his special ability.’
Lubomir Michalik was also taken out of the starting XI on Saturday, after establishing himself as a regular in the side.
Ashley Harris and Liam Walker missed out altogether as they were left in the stands.
Whittingham underlined things will be constantly changing in the side through a busy period, however.
He said: ‘Lubo missed out this time but they’ve got to realise that it’s a squad thing – especially over the Christmas period and going into January and the rest of the season.
‘It’s very important we have that competition and we saw that by the people we were able to bring on on Saturday.
‘They were unlucky not to start the game but every game will be set up how we think we need to be set up.
‘Every opposition’s different, so there might be different starters against Preston on Saturday.
‘It’s not a question of just keeping the same team because we had a good result.
‘We will change things around to how the opponents play.’
One of the most encouraging aspects of Saturday’s draw at Tranmere was to see Pompey introducing players who are capable of making an impact.
Allan, Lee Williamson and goalscorer Jake Jervis were all brought on and slotted into the formation the Blues’ staff had worked heavily on in the build-up to the game.
Whittingham said: ‘We’ve got some options up front now and it shows their willingness to work, as well.
‘I’m really pleased with attitudes to where they are playing and the shape we want to play.’