Brett Pitman is convinced the Fratton faithful are beginning to savour glimpses of Louis Dennis’ talents.
The Leyton Orient target was surprisingly handed a starting role in last night’s opening friendly at UCD.
Selected in the number 10 position ahead of Pitman, Gareth Evans and Andy Cannon, Dennis conjured up a sublime first-half display in the 11-0 demolition.
The 26-year-old, who featured just eight times last term, netted twice and provided two assists during the opening 45 minutes.
With Kenny Jackett making 11 changes at the break, Pitman would later register a 20-minute hat-trick as the Blues crashed through double figures.
But, afterwards, all talk among those Pompey fans present centred on the rejuvenated Dennis.
Pitman said: ‘Louis has done well since coming back for pre-season, he’s looked fit and sharp, like everybody has to be fair.
‘Everybody has come back well. In our running tests this year we comfortably beat our scores from last season, which bodes well – and Louis looks good.
‘He will bring his own mark on how he wants to play that position, he is slightly different to other people we have in that role.
‘And I think last night he showed he has a lot of quality about him.
‘Against UCD, you saw glimpses of what we have seen in training – and he is definitely capable of that.
‘He wouldn’t be at Portsmouth if he wasn’t a talented player.
‘It has probably taken a little bit longer than he would have liked to get an opportunity, but he has trained hard, worked hard over the summer and come back fit.
‘We will see what happens, hopefully he has a good season for us.’
Other Pompey scorers in the UCD Bowl romp were Ronan Curtis (two), Jamal Lowe, Gareth Evans, Joe Hancott and Ben Close.
The League of Ireland side are currently bottom of the Premier League, midway through the campaign.
And Pitman was delighted with Pompey’s professionalism.
He said: ‘I felt fine, it’s always nice to score a few goals, I probably could have got a few more, but that’s how it is.
‘The whole point of pre-season is getting fit, getting minutes and remaining as injury-free as possible throughout the whole squad.
‘The lads showed good appetite, good hunger and good respect to the opposition because we didn't start trying to take the mick.
‘There are going to be games where other teams are 10-11 nil up and might try tricks and flicks, but to be fair to our lads they didn’t.’