Rejuvenated Miles Storey has been backed to kick on following his grand Pompey return.
The 20-year-old marked his first start in eight matches with a stunning goal in the Blues’ 3-2 triumph over Stevenage on Tuesday night.
He failed to make four of the recent squads – including the weekend defeat at Bury – with Andy Awford revealing the Swindon loanee has been troubled with confidence problems.
Yet Pompey’s boss believes work on the training ground has succeeded in bolstering Storey’s self-belief, prompting his Boro recall.
Now Awford is adamant the youngster can drive forwards as he attempts to prove his worth.
He said: ‘Miles had a little bit of a (confidence) knock, he thought it was going to be plain sailing for him but it wasn’t.
‘In training he has been a bit low and a couple of reserve games been a bit low, while it hadn’t quite worked for him when playing at Fratton Park at times.
‘Also, in the away games he has not been quite at it for whatever reason so we needed to take him out the firing line, protect him a little bit and put him back together.
‘We have done a lot of work with him in training, away from the pitch as well, asking him to do certain things and he has responded magnificently.
‘That has involved a lot of video analysis, showing him and working with him, and the movement displayed against Stevenage was what we wanted to see.
‘Miles has fully understood the reasons why we have taken him out, fully got to grips with it and agreed with what I was doing.
‘He was a bit frustrated, a bit disappointed like anyone would be, but can see the reasoning behind it and has been superb.
‘He’s a great lad to work with and if he keeps playing like that he is not going to be a problem.
‘I am chuffed for him, I really am. We’re looking for him to push on from this – and I am sure he will.’
Storey netted Pompey’s second goal of the night against Stevenage with a crashing right-foot angled drive.
It was his second Blues goal in 14 appearances, of which six have been starts.
And Awford saluted the clinical finish.
He added: ‘It was a great finish from Miles. He wanted that goal at the Fratton end.
‘I know he was gutted when his goal was chalked off against Dagenham at that end of the ground.
‘It was very similar to his Peterborough goal when he struck the ball right-footed across the keeper and he deserved that for his effort.
‘He had a specific role to do, to keep running in behind, keep stretching them with his pace and he did it all night long. He was offside a few times but that’s the risk.
‘The one time he wasn’t offside he finished it and it was a great finish.’
To see highlights of Pompey v Stevenage, click here.