Pompey would normally start their preparations for a return to competitive action by facing a few local non-league sides.
But with the first leg of their play-off encounter with Oxford now less than three weeks away, the time is simply not there to have a usual ‘pre-season’ experience.
Instead it was a Championship side – in the form of Reading – who provided the first friendly opponents.
The hosts emerged 3-1 winners behind closed doors at the Madejski Stadium, with Oli Hawkins grabbing the consolation.
Kenny Jackett knows the result is not important, however, as he continues to prepare his side for a promotion push.
The Blues boss said: “It was a very good workout. We used 23 players and gave most of them equal time, with two young lads – Harvey Rew and Alfie Stanley – splitting a half.
"It was a high-quality game and I was pleased with the effort, application and response from the players."
“But the main reason for the game is to get our best side up to speed ahead of the Oxford game and we haven’t got the time to build up as we usually would in pre-season.
“We’re coming in against a side at a very good level – Reading put their strongest side out and we’re very thankful to them.
“It was a high-quality game and I was pleased with the effort, application and response from the players.
“Our focus is on getting ready to face Oxford and balancing making sure all players are fit, while also working on shape and marrying our best side together.
“There are three weeks to go and we need to be able to hit the ground running, so Reading was a big test for us.
“We haven’t taken any risks (with injuries). Ronan Curtis was very close for us and should be back training next week.”