Mustapha Dumbuya hailed Michael Appleton as the man to get the best of his attacking instincts.
Dumbuya believes Appleton’s footballing philosophies can allow him to wreak havoc in League One.
The marauding right-back feels his new boss has released the shackles on him since arriving from Doncaster in the summer.
And Dumbuya has responded to that with a string of impressive performances so far this season.
The 25-year-old’s displays have marked him out as a stand-out player for Appleton’s men to date, with his efforts seeing him make a good impression on the Fratton faithful, too.
Those talents will be missed at Crawley on Sunday after Dumbuya was called up for Africa Cup of Nations duty with Sierra Leone.
Meanwhile, Dumbuya has hailed the impact his new manager has already had on his game.
He has no doubts he will continue to develop him a footballer, with Appleton already making a mark on him in his short time at Fratton Park.
Dumbuya said: ‘The manager has told me he knew what I was all about, so to just go out and show everyone. It was as simple as that.
‘He told me he watched me at Doncaster and to go out and do what I do.
‘He gives me no restrictions and tells me to get the ball and go.
‘I’ve played with a few managers and Appy is definitely up there with the best I’ve worked with.
‘I feel like my game has already improved since I have been working with him.
‘He doesn’t beat around the bush – he tells you how it is. You have to respect that.
‘Appy also likes to play the right way and that has helped me since I came here.’
Appleton’s pursuit of Dumbuya over the summer was dogged, with the player at the top of the Pompey manager’s hit-list from the end of last season.
The fact he was made to feel wanted was a key factor in his decision.
He feels it is the respect felt towards the Blues boss from the playing staff that has been crucial in keeping a squad of players together through the uncertainty at Fratton Park.
Dumbuya said: ‘It’s due to Appy. The boys who are still here are here because of him.
‘I never got itchy feet. If it was going to happen it was going to happen and if it didn’t, I moved on.
‘I wasn’t going to say I was going to leave because of what is going on.
‘I gave Appy my word. I said to him if the club stays, I stay. It’s as simple as that.
‘As a manager I respect him.
‘I had a meeting with him and I had the choice of coming in for training on July 9 or waiting until things were sorted.
‘I wanted to come in for pre-season so I’ve been with the club since.
‘When you are wanted and a manager wants you as much as Appy did with me, you have to respect that.
‘The way he showed he wanted me made me want to play for him.
‘He’s a top man and I’m not just saying that! He’s a genuine, top man who the players like – but respect at the same time.’