Pompey lifted the gloom with a confidence-boosting 3-0 win over Bolton today.
Kieran Djilali, Liam Lawrence and Ashley Harris got the goals with Michael Appleton’s men good value for the victory against a strong Trotters side.
Owen Coyle questioned whether the Pompey team would be strong enough given the Blues’ troubles.
He needn’t have worried with Appleton’s side dominant and hungry to catch the eye throughout.
Djilali opened the scoring after five minutes when he tucked away Izale McLeod’s cross.
Then captain Lawrence delivered a perfect 25 yard free-kick seven minutes later to double the advantage.
Pompey’s mix of triallists, youngsters and players likely to be on their way continued to dominate throughout.
But they had to wait until eight minutes after the break for their third.
It was a moment to savour for Purbrook teenager Harris as he nodded a peach of a cross from Lawrence home in front of the Fratton End.
There were plenty of impressive performances from triallists looking to impress - particularly Liam Walker the midfielder from Gilbraltar with Waterlooville family.
The Pompey fans sang ‘sign him up’ when he was replaced late on.
There were boos for Tal Ben Haim though - as he played 90 minutes while efforts to come to a compromise over the £2m he’s owed for the remaining year of his deal continue.