Michael Appleton praised his troops after their Bournemouth opener and admitted: It will take time to see the best of them.
Pompey battled to a 1-1 draw against the Cherries at Fratton Park this afternoon.
Izale McLeod’s opener was cancelled out by Lee Barnard 13 minutes from time.
There was plenty to admire from Appleton’s side, but it was clear they ran out of steam against their opponents.
Appleton knows his side are playing catch up fitness-wise after being thrown together at short notice.
He believes the best won’t be seen of them until later in the year.
Appleton said: ‘They worked hard.
‘In the first half, especially, they played some outstanding football.
‘We had to start quickly and get the crowd going.
‘It was important we scored first because I know a lot of players would be running on empty.
‘There is a lack of football in some of them so that was always going to happen.
‘I think we are lacking by four or five weeks on some sides, so we will need a bit of luck.
‘But come October or November I think you will see the best of this side.’