Guy Whittingham felt the signs were positive after Pompey’s 2-1 friendly defeat at Bournemouth.
Despite the Blues losing against the Championship newcomers, Whittingham’s men put in an encouraging display, capped off by Andy Barcham’s second-half leveller.
The Cherries took the honours thanks to Harry Cornick’s 80th-minute winner - but Whittingham was happy from what he saw from his team.
The Blues manager said: ‘‘I was really pleased with the work out tonight. Some of the lads showed where we want them to be at this moment in pre-season.
‘That was Ricky Holmes’ first 90 minutes for five-and-a-half months and there are also other players who lasted the full game.
‘I felt our defence are now picking up an understanding and, regardless of the result, I’m really encouraged.’
Whittingham added: ‘Tom Craddock got a bruised arm but, other than that, we had no injuries.’