International call-ups meant there was a blank weekend in Pompey’s schedule.
But Danny Cowley chose to use the gap wisely and seized on an opportunity to boost the squad’s morale.
He took advantage of the additional time to train that was afforded by a scheduled clash with Cheltenham being postponed.
And Cowley also took his charges on a day out to forge bonds that he believes can help ensure a successful season.
The Blues boss said: “We had a good week out on the grass and were able to spend a lot of time on the training pitches.
“We also went go-karting with the group on Thursday, which was an opportunity to be together and do some bonding.
“When I look at the promotions I’ve had in my career, the one common factor in those teams was the spirit and togetherness.
“You have to work at human relationships and the more time you spend together, the stronger they will become.
"When I look at the promotions I’ve had in my career, the one common factor in those teams was the spirit and togetherness."
“That is such an important quality to have if you’re looking to build a successful team, which is what we’re looking to achieve.”
Pompey will look to get their first Papa John’s Trophy points on the board when they host Sutton this evening.
Cowley said: “It’s a really good opportunity for those players who have been on the periphery of the side to put their hand up.
“We’ll be able to give them much needed game time, while also providing some of our youngsters with an experience of Fratton Park.
“There’s a lot to admire about Sutton and the way they got promoted out of a very tough National League.
“They’ve carried that momentum through to this season and are a real threat on the counter-attack, so we know it’s going to be difficult.
“We want to see energy and enthusiasm, and will have to match our opponents in those areas and then try to get control of the game.”