Joel Ward looked ahead to the new season and insisted: We’re aiming for the play-offs.
The Pompey starlet thinks his team have what it takes to finish in the top six in the forthcoming campaign.
Steve Cotterill’s men will be battling it out in one of the toughest-ever Championships from next month.
A flurry of transfer activity has raised hopes that Pompey can be a decent force when the action gets under way.
Ward knows there will have to be other signings to come through the door to give his side the depth they need.
The 21-year-old believes the ambition firmly has to he a play-off spot, however.
Ward said: ‘We want to be in contention for the top six.
‘We want to give it everything we’ve got, and that’s the main thing we’re going to do – we’re going to give it 100 per cent every week, and hopefully that pays off.
‘As the squad grows and we get a few additions, the team will get a lot stronger.
‘We’re feeling fitter and a lot sharper, looking good in training and we are building for the future.
‘Hopefully, we can keep doing that and go out there and be competitive.’
Ward reckons Pompey have to set lofty ambitions to aspire for the new campaign.
The Emsworth youngster feels everything has to be geared towards a top-flight return for his hometown club.
Ward said: ‘We want to make sure we build, and build for the future – and the Premier League is ultimately where we want to be in the end.
‘It’s the biggest and toughest league in the world and that’s where you want to be as a player, especially with this club.
‘It’s such a great club and a big club, and we want to get right back up there.’