Lee Bradbury believes his Hawks side will benefit from their latest Pompey experience – despite going down to a 5-0 defeat.
The Westleigh Park boss is adamant the visit of their League Two neighbours will assist them in their preparations for the new Blue Square Bet South season – which kicks off with an away trip to Ebbsfleet United on August 17.
The former Pompey striker was disappointed with the final scoreline from their second pre-season outing of the summer but was impressed with the way the Hawks maintained possession.
‘It was good for our fitness levels, and in the first half I thought we did well,’ said Bradbury.
‘It’s always disappointing to lose games by five goals but, overall, we got what we wanted from it.
‘The final result might look a little damaging but it is one of those games where you have to look at the bigger picture.
‘You have to look at the league Portsmouth are in, the number of players they have, and the fact they train every day.
‘We offered Portsmouth good competition and had a lot of possession.
‘It was an unfortunate start after they went ahead with an early goal.
‘After that I was pleased with the way we passed the ball and looked after each other.
‘We used the ball well, but I felt we needed a bit more in the final third of the pitch.
‘Box to box we did okay, but goals win you games.
‘In that respect, we were unlucky because their first was a ricochet, the second was from a deflection and the third a bizarre own goal.
‘Portsmouth then made it count in the closing stages.’
The Hawks were without last season’s top-scorer, Ollie Palmer, Christian Nanetti and Ed Harris for the visit of Guy Whittingham’s Blues.
All three are currently abroad for various reasons and were unable to play a part in last night’s friendly.
However, a frustrated Bradbury hopes he’ll never be left in that position again.
‘I have had to do without three key players who are an important part of what we are trying to do – and it does get on my nerves,’ he admitted.
‘It’s disappointing and is something I am trying to change at the club.
‘I am trying to change the way players think and the way they go about things.’
Bradbury hopes to have all three back for their next pre-season friendly against Conference Premier outfit Salisbury City at Westleigh Park next Tuesday.