The training pitch – the inspiration behind Pompey’s remarkable resurgence.
Saturday’s 6-2 demolition of Cambridge was not merely a one-off, rather the culmination of a series of improved performances over the previous nine fixtures.
Since a 1-1 draw at Luton, Andy Awford believes displays have risen – and with them a greater number of points tallied.
That includes three wins and two draws from the past five matches alone.
According to Awford, the improved form is the result of a greater intensity on the training ground.
And he is looking for his players’ hard work to continue reaping dividends when they entertain Tranmere Rovers tonight (7.45pm).
Pompey’s boss said: ‘The upturn in performance – whether home or away – has been down to being out there on the training ground.
‘I am not saying the lads didn’t do it before, but the intensity in training has certainly gone up and I think they are receiving some rewards for that.
‘For me, since Luton the performances have gone up.
‘There was one poor half against Southend, but I think we would all forgive that during the last nine matches.
‘The last five games we have also been getting points for those performances.
‘Against that run of top teams we didn’t quite get the points we deserved.
‘Away at Newport we should probably have taken a point, probably three at Luton, three at Wycombe, whereas we have done of late and that is pleasing.
‘I don’t think the raising in intensity on the training ground has coincided with Gary Waddock coming in, the players have led that.
‘There is probably a little bit of a realisation it wasn’t good enough.
‘I obviously made them aware of it and to be fair to the players they have responded in a really good way.
‘The level of performance has been really consistent and that is what we have to continue to do.’
Tranmere, who are three points above the relegation zone, beat Shrewsbury 2-1 on Saturday.