by Mark Storey in Washington
Michael Brown praised the spirit of his team-mates for battling through Pompey’s draining North American tour.
Nightmare travel problems left the Blues exhausted when they should have been building their fitness for the start of the Championship season on August 7.
Even all the Blues' kit went missing as they travelled from Canada back to the USA – leaving them to play in DC United’s change strip on Saturday night.
But despite being stranded in airports and suffering from lack of sleep the players and staff stuck together in true Pompey fashion.
The Blues midfielder said: “After a cancelled plane the boys got up at three in the morning to get another plane that was then delayed which meant we got to Washington just a few hours before the game.
“The temperature at the stadium was unbelievable. The lads all lost 4kgs. That tells you how hot it was. It was very humid. We came from Edmonton, where it wasn’t too hot, straight to this.
“But, just like throughout the two weeks, we’ve had to deal with it.
“I think the boys have done fantastically to keep their heads in the situation we’ve been placed in. They’ve shown a very good attitude."
Pompey’s 4-0 defeat at DC United on Saturday night was no surprise given the circumstances.
Now Brown says Pompey must turn their attention to the coming Championship season.
He said: “There’s nothing broken. It’s just about getting minutes on the pitch and getting fit.
“We have a lot of kids in the side who aren’t ready yet. In the Championship we need players who are ready to go straight in.
“But come the Fulham game on Saturday we might have a few more players. We need players sooner rather than later.”
Blues boss Steve Cotterill will be relieved to get home and start trying to build a side fit for the Championship.
He said: “It took us 27 hours to get from Edmonton to Washington. We could have flown from England to Australia in that time.
“We were okay for 20 minutes against DC United, but after that we were shot. The next 70 minutes were very painful and hard for the players.
“The one thing about this result is that it’s shown the position we’re in. It’s painful. We’ve got some good honest senior lads here and some youngsters who are trying their hardest.
“The kids have got to be at full tilt to be anywhere near the team, and we’re going to be playing in a man’s' league in a couple of weeks’ time.”