Craig Bellamy's reputation may precede him wherever he goes but his Cardiff City team-mate Jay Bothroyd, who has known the Welshman for 10 years, has praised the Manchester City man's ability to grow up fast.
Bothroyd and Bellamy shared a dressing room at Coventry in 2000 before being reunited in the Welsh capital side this season. In the intervening years, Bothroyd had relatively uneventful spells at Perugia, Wolves, Blackburn and Charlton, while Bellamy hit the headlines for, among other things, whacking a Liverpool team-mate with a golf club and facing charges of assault.
But Bothroyd, who scored one and made another against Portsmouth, said: "If I'm being honest, it took me a bit longer to mature than Craig but now I'd like to think I have done.
"I'm working hard every day and that's with the help of the coaches and the manager. I'm enjoying my football and playing with a smile on my face.
"I was speaking to Craig and he said he was tired of going up and down the motorway and said he wanted to come back to Cardiff, where his family is.
"Credit to him, he's at the top of his game but family's the most important thing, especially as he's been on the road for so long."
Cardiff's position, joint-top of the Championship, is partly down to their new investors, which Portsmouth manager Steve Cotterill can only dream of. He was able to name just three outfield players and a loan goalkeeper on his bench and will have to sell his captain Marc Wilson to bring in Dave Kitson and Liam Lawrence.
Cotterill said: "We just need a bigger squad, come what may. Unfortunately, financially, that's where we are. Because if money wasn't an issue we wouldn't have just the players we have."
Hayden Mullins scored Cardiff's first with an own-goal after Bothroyd put him and Ibrahima Sonko under pressure. Then Bellamy drew the home goalkeeper Jamie Ashdown out of position for Bothroyd to slot into an empty net.
Cotterill was left to bemoan his side's lack of firepower as they prop up the rest of the division with just one point. He said: "We gave away two silly goals and that sums up the way things have been going for us for the past eight weeks.
"The trouble is if someone scores twice against us we do not have the firepower to come back. We are bottom of the league and the alarm bells are ringing but I was ringing them from the first day I took the job.
"I always knew this was a tough job and no one will ever know just how tough it is because I won't tell them because if I give in then everyone will give in. This is still a great club and we have to make sure we get things right on the pitch," said Cotterill.
"I am a fighter and I will keep fighting but as a manager you need the tools to be able to do your job."
Portsmouth (4-5-1) Ashdown; Mullins, Mokoena, Sonko, Dickinson; Smith, (Pack, 84), Wilson, Hughes (Ciftci, 68), Utaka (Ritchie, 87); Nugent 7. Substitutes not used Flahavan (gk).
Cardiff City (4-4-1-1) Marshall; Blake (Matthews, 28), Hudson, Gyepes, Naylor 6; Burke, Olofinjana, Whittingham, Drinkwater; Bellamy (Keogh, 80); Bothroyd (Koumas, 90). Substitutes not used Heaton (gk), Rae, McPhail, Gerrard.
Man of match Bothroyd.
Referee A Penn (West Midlands)
Attendance: 15,866Reuse content