Kenny Jackett was able to take plenty of positives from Pompey’s latest pre-season contest at Stevenage.
They came alive towards the end of a low-key affair, with Ronan Curtis’ stooping header from a Jamal Lowe cross enough to secure victory.
Summer signing Ross McCrorie impressed alongside Ben Close in midfield, with Tom Naylor getting a rare outing in the centre of defence.
And with Pompey coming up against EFL opposition for the first time this summer, Jackett was happy with the outcome.
The Blues boss said: “It was a useful game and a step up from the previous week in terms of effort and application – the desire was there.
“We got into some good positions, although found it hard to move the ball and find that extra half a yard.
“Maybe we could have done that on a pitch that was cut properly, but you have to cope with that because it’s the same for both teams.
"It was a cohesive performance and there are lot of new partnerships popping up all over the pitch."
“It did affect the game, although overall I felt it was a cohesive performance and there are lot of new partnerships popping up all over the pitch.
“There are options and I felt that McCrorie brought a lot to our midfield – I can really see him bringing an extra dimension.
“We’re going to need to find a new centre-back pairing with Matt Clarke gone. It was Downing and Naylor on this occasion and I was pleased with them.
“Ronan got his goal and has looked lively throughout pre-season. He got a little knock towards the end, but almost completed the 90 minutes.”
Pompey fans got a first glimpse of latest signing Marcus Harness when he came on in the second half and Jackett is happy with the options at his disposal.
He said: “We’ve been working hard since the day after the Sunderland game and I do feel we’ve arrived at the point where we’ve got a good squad.
“There are some decent players in our group who can compete over a 10-month period to hopefully have a successful season.”