Andy Barcham is eyeing an assault on Pompey’s first-team after successfully emerging from his latest comeback.
The winger grabbed a goal and an assist during a substitute outing in the reserves’ 4-1 win at Leyton Orient on Tuesday.
His 36 minutes on pitch represented a first appearance since the reserves’ 2-2 draw at Bournemouth at the end of October.
Troubled by a groin complaint in addition to falling out of favour, Barcham has struggled to break into Andy Awford’s match-day squad.
Now he’s hoping his Brisbane Road display will be the start of an upturn in fortune.
He said: ‘To be honest, I haven’t had many injuries, I have been out recently with my groin but it was more about protection.
‘I haven’t pulled it or anything like that, it’s a bit complicated but one of those things caused by training on different surfaces because of the change in the weather.
‘I have always had that, when going onto the 3G sometimes my groin flares up and I have to rest just to make sure I don’t pull it.
‘I think a few of the boys are suffering with things like that where their backs get stiff, so it was more to do with prevention and letting it settle it down.
‘The physios and staff at the club know what they are talking about, so when they tell you to do stuff you respect their decision and it is fine.
‘Obviously if you do a groin you are out for quite a while, but it is okay now, it’s one of those things, I have always managed it so there is nothing too serious.
‘I am training again and was happy to be back out there again on Tuesday.
‘It would have been nice to get a few more minutes but I’ll do what I can, build it up slowly and be ready when the call comes.
‘That was the first time I have played since the Bournemouth game, quite a long time ago, so you are asking for trouble to play 90 minutes having not trained much.
‘The medical staff have got it right, it was the best decision to be made to be honest, now I’m looking to push on.’
Orient was Barcham’s fourth appearance of the season for the reserves, during which he has netted three times.
Meanwhile, he has made just two first-team starts, the most recent coming at Stoke in the Capital One Cup in August.
In total, the former Gillingham man has played only nine times this term, yet he was encouraged by his comeback performance.
He added: ‘My goal against Orient was a ball in from Easty on the left, he put it to the back stick and I got a header across the keeper.
‘Then near the end I heard Easty calling for it, he set me up so I thought I would do the same for him, I was going to shoot but because it was Easty I decided to slip him in for an assist.
‘I need all the minutes I can get, I haven’t played at all this season so for me it’s nice to get minutes under my belt and play.
‘All I can do is try to keep myself going and be ready to be called upon.’