Shaun Gale believes the Hawks will have learned from the footballing masterclass handed to them by Real Betis.
The Hawks were handed a 7-0 beating by the massively-talented La Liga outfit at Westleigh Park on Saturday night.
But Gale insists it was a ‘great occasion’ for the Hawks who stepped in for Pompey at late notice after they were left stranded in America following their pre-season tour.
It proved to be an education for the Blue Square South side, as Betis delivered a lesson in passing, movement and confidence on the ball.
It was an historic night for Shaun Gale’s men as they faced the Segunda Division champions after stepping in for Pompey – after they were left stranded in America.
Some poor goals were shipped but Hawks could take heart from the manner in which they kept with their opponents for long periods of the second half.
And keeper Nathan Ashmore could be delighted with his display as he made a string of outstanding saves.
Gale knows his side have no reason to let the loss affect confidence as they gear up for the new campaign at Boreham Wood on August 13.
He said: ‘It was a great occasion for this football club to pit our wits against a team of that quality.
‘I don’t think we will come up against a side like that again.
‘I think Arsenal would be the only English side to pass it like that, so it was great to play them.
‘We learned things and there were great players on show. It was a great experience.
‘Nathan played really well. He is there to make saves and he did that job for us.
‘The way they play is so clever but we weren’t disgraced by it.
‘It was an education and we got a lot from it, especially fitness.
‘There’s no loss of confidence because we’ve kept it in context.
‘We maybe stood off them too much but their keeper also made a brilliant stop at the end.
‘Now we’re looking to arrange a return leg in Spain. We might need to score early, though!’
Hawks had their summer signings on show as they gear up for the new campaign.
And Mustafa Tiryaki, who left the club at the end of last season in search of full-time football, was a surprise face as he turned out after trials at Scunthorpe and Tranmere.
He was joined by former Pompey defender Perry Ryan, with whom Gale is keen to wrap up a deal.
Gale was pleased with the efforts of his new recruits.
He said: ‘Lee Peacock will be decent for us this season.
‘Craig Braham-Barrett frightens defenders to death and did well against top-class opposition in Betis. He is prepared to take people on and once he gets away from players he’s hard to stop.
‘Mark Nwokeji is getting better and better and Chris Holland will clearly be decent for us.
‘Perry Ryan is here and we are hoping to tie something up with him.
‘He’s come in and trained hard, so we will see if we can do something.
‘Mustafa hasn’t got a club and it’s a case of watch this space on that one.’