Team spirit – the secret behind Danny Rose’s double promotion-winning campaign.
And Pompey’s newly-acquired lucky charm is hoping that winning formula can rub off on his Fratton Park surroundings.
It was something I had not experienced before in terms of how powerful team spirit can be and that is something that doesn’t come straight awayDanny Rose
Paul Cook’s side will make their first home appearance of the pre-season when Bournemouth visit tomorrow (3pm).
The fixture against the Premier League club also serves as a benefit match for ex-Blues favourite Alan McLoughlin.
Affectionately known as ‘Macca’, the midfielder made 361 appearances and scored 68 times during nine years with Pompey.
For the Fratton faithful there is the opportunity to see Cook’s revamped squad, among them Rose.
The 28-year-old made 19 appearances for Oxford United in the first half of last season, before switching to Northampton in February.
He then turned out 15 times for the Cobblers as they cantered to the League Two title, earning him a medal.
Rose’s former team-mates at Oxford went on to claim second spot, ensuring he achieved the unusual feat of representing the top two in the same campaign.
Now he’s a Blues player, hoping to introduce those prized secrets to success.
He said: ‘A lot of hard work went into this time last year with Oxford, we went away to Austria for a week and it brought the lads together.
‘Then I joined Northampton in the middle of a 10-match winning run in the league, going on to score the goal against Wycombe which clinched our ninth win.
‘At both clubs I witnessed the team spirit needed to get out of the division.
‘It was something I had not experienced before in terms of how powerful team spirit can be and that is something that doesn’t come straight away.
‘You need trips like ours to Ireland in order to create that.
‘Gone are the days when players don’t come back in good shape from holidays having drunk all summer, but in retrospect the odd night out as a team can help it gel, no doubt.
‘Nothing crazy, obviously, but everyone can let their hair down, have a laugh, still work hard and be together for as much as possible.
‘Our own preparation will definitely bode well for us in the coming months.
‘The reason why Northampton won the title was team spirit, they never knew they were beaten and were ruthless at the top of the pitch – which I know was missing a little bit last year.
‘And we are doing similar sorts of things to bring that here.’
Rose now has the distinction of winning promotion at four different clubs in his career.
The first was the Conference South title with Newport County in 2009-10, while he was part of the Fleetwood side which won the Conference title in 2011-12.
He added: ‘To be honest, I haven’t asked the question about whether I get a runners-up medal with Oxford. I played enough games, though.
‘I am not too bothered, I got a champions one so I’m happy enough with that!
‘It does go down as four promotions, though, that is the most important thing.’