Pompey boss Steve Cotterill has highlighted his team’s January break as a major factor behind their recent revival.
Ahead of today’s Championship clash with Ipswich, the Blues had recorded three straight victories after hitting form.
And Cotterill believes the training break in Gran Canaria helped recharge the batteries and build team spirit for the final stretch.
He explained: ‘Looking back, the trip to Gran Canaria was even more vital and I thought it was important at the time.
‘It was massive in what’s happened of late, even before the results started coming again.
‘We ate, drank, ran and swam together for a couple of days in the sun in a relaxed environment.
‘It gave us a bit of a break from the normal day-to-day stuff.
‘You find out a bit more about the lads and they find out a bit more about you.
‘We went to QPR in our first game back and put on a real performance. That trip has triggered us on again.’
Cotterill also feels the addition of younger players in loanees Jonathan Hogg, Ritchie de Laet and David Cotterill has given his team a much-needed boost.
He said: ‘We had a few young boys come into the group and we’ve gone from an older, more experienced team to a youthful, energetic team almost overnight.
‘The youthful ones are still getting to know each other and work out who the main men are. Not everyone can be a leader and not everyone can be a follower.
‘We’ve ended up building a new team within the season and it’s hard enough to do during the summer.
‘It’s testament to the loan signings and to the boys who were already in the dressing room to ease them into that situation.’