Pompey’s preparations for the 2019/20 campaign will step up a gear this week.
Kenny Jackett’s squad jetted off to Ireland on Sunday for a training camp in Dublin, which will include one game.
They take on top-flight outfit UCD – who are currently in the middle of their season – on Wednesday evening.
And with six summer signings to get bedded in, Jackett believes the trip will provide plenty of benefits.
The Blues boss said: “Pre-season is obviously an important time and that includes going out on the training ground to do the right amount of work.
“But the players need to integrate not just as footballers, but also team-mates. That kind of spirit is massive.
“You look at last season and there were 62 games over the course of 10 months – you need a squad to handle that.
"We’ll have a good week in Dublin and one match against UCD, with the chance for everyone to bond and prepare for the first league game."
“So that’s why your tour becomes so important and we’re quite glad we haven’t gone further afield in Europe when you look at some of the temperatures!
“We’ll have a good week in Dublin and one match against UCD, with the chance for everyone to bond and prepare for the first league game.”
Ross McCrorie became the latest addition to the squad last week, joining James Bolton, Ellis Harrison, Paul Downing, Ryan Williams and Sean Raggett.
Jackett said: “The players came back with a good standard of fitness and the right attitude, with the new guys integrating well.
“Everybody knows what positions they’re going for and who they are competing against – the defensive, midfield and attacking units all know what the expectations are.
“You look at the age and experience of our new signings and I believe they’ve got their best years ahead of them.
“I expected them to hit the ground running and they certainly showed that in the first week of training.”