It was another sweltering day that was more fitting of the cricket season than a game of football.
But Louis Thompson believes that Pompey’s pre-season toiling will benefit them during the forthcoming campaign.
The latest friendly contest produced a 2-1 victory at Gillingham, courtesy of Reeco Hackett’s strike and a last-gasp Connor Ogilvie header.
It came at the end of another busy week of training that is designed to get the Blues into tip-top shape.
Thompson said: “We’re starting to build some partnerships and find a bit of rhythm ahead of that first game on July 30.
“It was hot out there, although I prefer that to the cold! But it can be tough in those conditions and the breaks for drinks definitely helped.
"It has been a tough pre-season and we’ve worked hard – even in the day immediately before a game."
“Winning games is a habit you always want to have and it’s always good to start as you mean to go on.
“It has been a tough pre-season and we’ve worked hard – even in the day immediately before a game.
“But that’s what you’ve got to do if you want to hit the ground running and be ready for that first league match.”
Thompson has been impressed with what he has seen from midfield partner Marlon Pack since his south coast return.
He said: “He arrived here with a real pedigree, having played regularly in the Championship for many years.
“Marlon is an experienced midfielder and knows how to control the ball, so it’s been nice to play alongside him.
“I think our midfield is stacked with real quality now and we’ll be looking to really bring the best out of each other.”