Pompey’s League One opener at Sheffield Wednesday is now just over a week away.
So Danny Cowley has stressed the importance of Saturday’s pre-season clash with Coventry at Fratton Park.
Mark Robins’ men finished 12th in the Championship last term and will undoubtedly provide a stern test.
And Cowley feels that is vital to get his side into the best possible shape ahead of their trip to Hillsborough.
The Blues boss said: “We’re treating this game as a dress rehearsal, while we’ve got a ‘mop-up’ at Barnet on Tuesday for those players who haven’t had the minutes they’ve needed.
“The boys who are involved on Saturday are ultimately the ones who are holding the shirts, so they need to perform well.
“It’s a brilliant match for us because Coventry are a top Championship side who are really well coached.
“They’ll ask lots of questions of us out of possession and so we’ll need to be ready. It’s our biggest test so far this summer.
"The boys who are involved on Saturday are ultimately the ones who are holding the shirts, so they need to perform well."
“We watched them beat Nottingham Forest in Spain and then they returned to England and dominated against Oxford.
“When we put these games together, there’s always thought and detail behind the choices that we make.
“It’s all about getting the best preparation leading into the new league season and we’re looking forward to returning to Fratton Park.
“We’ll be at the place we love most and it will be great to see our supporters and the rejuvenated stadium.”
Cowley has provided an encouraging update on Jayden Reid, who suffered a hamstring injury at Bristol City recently.
He said: “We’ve had some really good news about and the injury isn’t as bad as we first thought it was.
“The scan came back with a serious tear in the hamstring, but that hadn’t taken into consideration it was where he’d had his graft for his cruciate.
“He’s already back and doing work in the gym, which is a real positive and I’m so pleased for him. He deserves a bit of luck.”