Pompey boss: This is when it really counts
The signs have been promising across pre-season.
But Kenny Jackett knows full well that counts for nothing as the curtain comes up on the League One campaignÂ tomorrow.
It's business time as Pompey welcome League One new boys Luton Town to a packed Fratton Park in a match-up which has the ingredients for an exciting opener.
And Jackett is targeting a fast start to his side's second season at the level, as the Blues look to make an instant impact '“Â with three of their first four games atÂ home.
The enthusiasm has been building across the summer, with nearly 14,000Â season tickets sold.
Pompey's six new signings and the promising glimpses they've offered in the warm-up games haveÂ added to the reasons to be cheerful.
But Jackett is fully aware that means little once the competitive action gets under way.
The phoney war is now over '“Â and Saturday at 3pm is the time for hisÂ players to deliver.
Jackett said: 'We're looking forward to it.
'The signs are good for the new lads.
'There's a real, good period now that we are identifying and will be sitting down with the players.
'We'll be saying to them that they need to be ready for it. We need to be concentrating on them (Luton) and be ready. It's different from a pre-season period '“Â that's over now. I've been pleased with it, but now the real stuff's here.'
Jackett and his team have worked on embedding Pompey's new signings into the framework of his side since returning for pre-season training at the end of June.
They are additions the 56-year-old felt was necessary, but that creates the need for them to settle into their new surroundings. Jackett feels the process has gone well.
He added: 'Particularly with new players we've seen that (is the case). If we weren't going in with new players then people can continue, but we've needed to strengthen across the summer. We have.
'For Tom (Naylor), he's playing well and has had a bright pre-season. He'll be looking forward to the season.
'For Anton (Walkes), midfield is something he wants to do. He certainly has the capability and all-round game to get around but he's a flexible player as well, in terms of if we get injuries.
'It's exciting and in terms of the players building partnerships we've seen good signs. That can only be good newsÂ going forward.'