Boss happy with back-line display at Braintree
Pre-season friendlies are rarely the most exciting games of football.
And Pompey’s goalless draw at Braintree would not have done much to change that opinion.
Neither side did enough to warrant a victory, with Ashley Harris’ saved shot late in the first half the most notable Blues’ chance.
But Guy Whittingham knows that pre-season triumphs count for nothing once the league campaign begins.
The Blues boss said: “I think our fans are realistic and will understand that we’ve got a lot of new players in the side. It’s going to be a tough league.
“So the game was a very useful exercise for us because, first and foremost, we’ll need to defend well this season and we did that against Braintree.
“And it was important for some of our players to get an hour of game time as we look to build up their fitness.
“The purpose of this week away is also to make sure the players get to know each other better and so far it’s been very good for that.”
Neither Sonny Bradley or David Connolly featured at the Amlin Stadium, but Whittingham was quick to play that down.
He said: “Sonny wasn’t feeling too well and picked up a slight hip flexor injury after playing on ground last week and then soft ground this week.
“David was another one we didn’t want to risk on that surface.
“There’s no point forcing anyone as we want to get through these games with a fully-fit squad.”
Attention now turns to the first Fratton friendly against Championship outfit Charlton on Saturday.
Whittingham said: “It’s going to be a great day for the fans – that’s what it’s all about. We’ll just concentrate on facing Charlton and getting some more fitness into the players.”