Mullins: The heat was on but trip will have been worth it

Hayden Mullins in action against Charleston Battery Picture: Joe Pepler/PFC
Hayden Mullins in action against Charleston Battery Picture: Joe Pepler/PFC
Pompey suffered defeat to Charlton. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Hayden Mullins believes Pompey will see the benefit of their pre-season exertions when they return to home soil.

The Blues midfielder admits that a succession of hard training sessions in high heat and humidity played a part in a low-key 0-0 draw with Charleston Battery.

And with an overnight flight back to the UK, it’s a quick turnaround for tomorrow’s clash against Real Betis at Fratton Park.

But Mullins knows that the more important result is what happens at the Riverside Stadium next weekend when Pompey kick-off the new Championship season with a trip to Middlesbrough.

Mullins said: ‘It’s been a long trip. We hit the heatwave and it’s been difficult for us playing the games because of the heat and humidity.

‘We’ll be happy to get home and get into a routine back home again.

‘But I’m sure this trip has benefited us. You sweat a lot in training and you lose a lot of fluids so it’s very important to replace them.

‘Even in a light training session, you sweat quite a bit and it takes it out of your legs.

‘But it’s all a fitness exercise. We know where we are now but we will really see how fit we are when we get back.’

While some have criticised Pompey’s pre-season travel plans and believe it was too far to travel, the fitness levels will undoubtedly be higher than they were after last year’s shambolic schedule around north America.

And Mullins also feels it was an ideal opportunity for the new players to integrate with the rest of the squad.

He said: ‘It’s been a tough 12 days for all of us but it’s been a good trip.

‘It’s all about getting yourself ready for that first game of the season.

‘I think the new guys have done really well for us.

‘Luke Varney and David Norris both did particularly well in the second game, I thought.

‘But all round we look like we’re coming together and we’re getting to know each other a bit more.

‘There are a lot of new faces in the squad and we have to recognise how they play.

‘I’m sure once it all beds in, we’ll be fine.’