Alex Robertson can empathise with the trepidation which greeted his Pompey signing from some of the Fratton faithful.
After all, a hugely disappointing previous loan spell at Ross County yielded just 74 minutes in the Scottish Premiership, with the season-long arrangement cancelled halfway through.
It was a miserable time for the then 18-year-old, whose dog Ace would offer cherished companionship in a lonely flat a long way from his Manchester home.
Yet that was July 2021, more than two-years ago, and it’s now a very different Robertson lighting up the Blues.
Certainly Ross County failings should never be used to define the promising Australian’s rich future.
Robertson told The News: ‘I'm loving it here. The gaffer has shown a lot of trust in me and hopefully I can repay that by my performances, hard work and scoring goals and getting assists.
‘It’s miles better than my previous spell at Ross County, which didn’t really play out well. No finger pointing at anyone, no blame, football is football.
‘Ross County was a disappointing loan on the football side, but on professional aspects I matured. I'd just turned 18 and was seven hours away from Manchester, living on my own, just my dog Ace keeping me company. It wasn’t the nicest of places.
‘Some Pompey fans may have looked at that loan and doubted my signing here - and it’s only right for them to look at it that way.
‘If I was a football fan and a player was coming into my club having not played much at a Ross County or wherever they were last, you would kind of question it.
‘Hopefully I have shown them so far a bit of what I can do and I will keep trying to show them.
‘The thing is, that was more than two years ago, I am 20 now, and subsequently spent a couple more years at City, learning a lot from the first-team players.
‘That loan also taught me many life lessons and football lessons, so I’m actually really thankful for that period in my career.
‘I‘ve been able to take some things from that, such as being able to handle myself around older people when you are younger, that bit of adversity, and become a better player.’
Robertson would make five appearances for the Staggies - and none in the final two-and-a-half months of his aborted loan.
In contrast, he has totalled 18 outings so far with Pompey, which includes 11 League One starts, after cementing a regular first-team spot.
The 20-year-old added: ‘My ambition is to play in the Premier League, every young boy dreams of that.
‘More than anything, you must work hard, if you don’t then you won’t get that spot. A few of my mates are in the Premier League and I know how hard they work.
‘I’m contracted for another two years at Manchester City, so I'll continue giving it everything.’