Steve Cotterill geared up for Boro and blasted: The buzz is back.
The Pompey boss is fired up and cannot wait to see his men go into Championship battle again at the Riverside tomorrow.
Cotterill feels his players are ready for their curtain-raiser against Tony Mowbray’s men after getting a good pre-season under their belts.
The 47-year-old is champing at the bit to get started as Pompey travel north to Teesside – and believes his players are primed for action.
Cotterill said: ‘It always happens when the season comes around. You get that buzz again.
‘We’ll be walking out at a big stadium and my heart will be beating 20 to the dozen, so I’m looking forward to it.
‘The adrenalin will be there when it needs to be there come kick-off.
‘I’ve been at it a while so I don’t jump up and down like I used to, but I’ll enjoy it, for sure.
‘If you love your football it happens. You want to be having your fix. We know we’re fit, strong and ready.
‘If we can get a bit of a rub of the green, who knows, it could be a decent bus journey home.’
Cotterill is looking for progress from his team this season, after the club’s woes had a big impact on their unlikely play-off ambitions last time around.
He said: ‘It’s a good club and we’ve got to have people to get this club standing strongly on its feet again.
‘We didn’t move last year. It was about keeping your head above water.
‘When I see 16th in the league last season, I think it’s rubbish, but you have to look at what happened.
‘We are in better shape this year. You have to shoot for the stars and see where you end up.’