Guy Whittingham believes Pompey’s defensive display against Bournemouth augers well for the season ahead.
The Blues slipped to a 2-1 defeat at Dean Court last night in the first-team’s penultimate friendly of the summer.
Andy Barcham’s equaliser was sandwiched between strikes from Mohamed Coulibaly and Harry Cornick.
Nonetheless, Pompey’s manager was delighted with his team’s resilience, with Sonny Bradley again partnering Joe Devera in the centre of defence.
And Whittingham insists he was boosted by that particular facet of the Blues’ game.
He said: ‘I think we made huge improvements. I know people will look at the scoreline and see we lost 2-1 but, defensively, there was a lot more understanding between the players.
‘We knew going there was going to be difficult and we had to defend well – what we got out of it was the players look like they are going to enjoy defending. In the league we are in, if you finish the game having not conceded then there’s a good chance, with the firepower we’ve got, we are going to nick a goal somewhere down the line.
‘You have to get that understanding to defend properly and if it goes to 0-0, it goes to 0-0 – we just don’t make it easy for teams to score.
‘If you are ultra-critical you can say we should have gone out and closed Coulibaly a bit quicker and put him off a little bit but it was a great strike.
‘The same as Andy Barcham got for us in the second half – a good strike.
‘The third one, they are chucking on fresh players all the time and we are trying to stick to the same ones, giving them 90 minutes and it took a deflection and went in.
‘They also hit the post but that is a good learning curve for us. We know if we are organised defensively we will do well.’