Danny Cowley is well aware of the stern challenge facing his side in League One this weekend.
Pompey’s unbeaten start to the season will be put to the test when they visit promotion favourites Ipswich.
The sides currently have an identical record in the standings – level on points, goal difference and goals scored.
And Cowley is excited to see his confident team come up against a Tractor Boys outfit looking to bounce back from last week’s loss at Plymouth.
The Blues boss said: “We’ve got a lot of respect for them as a football club. They’ve got some fantastic players and are really well coached.
“They’ve been able to recruit the best players from their rivals in the division – and also some of the best from the Championship.
“So they’re in a fortunate position in that respect and if you look at the way they play, as well as the consistency of their results, you can see they’re a top team.
“Anybody who manages to finish close to them I anticipate would be having a lot of success this season.
“We’re focused on our performance, though, and are proud of the fact that we’re still unbeaten in this division.
"We love these games and there’s been a real energy at the training ground all week."
“Our challenge is to remain that way because we know that Ipswich will ask us a lot of questions. We have to find solutions to that.
“But we’ll go there in a confident mood and with a together group. We need to be determined and resolute to get a positive outcome.
“We love these games and there’s been a real energy at the training ground all week. We’re a work in progress, but want to try to beat the best teams in the league.”
Pompey have confirmed that Richard Hughes will be joining the club as sporting director from Forest Green next month.
Cowley said: “It’s a really good appointment for us and we’re pleased to bring in someone of his experience and expertise.
“I think it’s a crucial role for where this club currently is and if you want sustained success, you have to keep developing off the pitch.
“That includes sports science, recruitment and analysis – all important provisions to support the first team.
“He’ll come in with many good ideas and has a proven track record, so can drive the strategy of the club and help the football operations.
“I’ve got to know him well throughout this process and we’re excited to be able to work alongside him.”