Bondz N’Gala warned Pompey to get set for a grim war at Accrington and promised: It’s the kind of battle I love.
N’Gala believes Guy Whittingham’s side will find out what League Two is all about when they undertake their first trip on the road tomorrow.
The Blues face the long journey north to take on Stanley for the Sky-televised lunchtime kick-off.
Their Crown Ground home is one of the less salubrious venues in league football and James Beattie’s side will be aiming to make it all the more uncomfortable for Pompey when the action gets underway.
N’Gala impressed with an imposing debut in the Capital One Cup defeat at Bournemouth on Tuesday.
He knows exactly what to expect from Saturday’s trip.
The 23-year-old vowed he would relish the chance to make his no-nonsense game count for the side he joined on a month’s deal last week.
N’Gala said: ‘I just love defending and throwing myself about.
‘I’ll be the first one out there trying to block the ball.
‘I’m a defender’s defender. That’s what I like to do first and foremost.
‘Accrington would be just the type of game I relish. I like the physical battle.
‘It’s going to be a tough, physical battle.
‘Accrington are traditionally a strong, direct team.
‘People don’t really relish going there but it’s a physical battle I’m up for – and I’m sure the lads will be up for as well.’
The resilience of Pompey’s display at Dean Court on Tuesday helped Whittingham’s men get their opening day league defeat against Oxford out of their system.
The Blues shipped four goals in a lacklustre display last Saturday.
Whittingham demanded his team defend with greater purpose – and they responded in exactly the right manner.
N’Gala knows that is the standard that has to be continually set by the team this season.
He said: ‘I think we worked hard as a team against Bournemouth and enjoyed our defending.
‘That is something we have to produce all of the time.
‘It’s not a some-of-the-time thing – it has to be all of the time. The gaffer has drilled that into us.
‘That is something that has to be.
‘The message has been that is what we have to do – and we firmly understand that.
‘We have shown we can do it now. So there is no reason not to do it.’
N’Gala has quickly built an appreciation of his new club’s fans.
A record crowd for League Two, in its current guise, was followed by nearly 1,500 going to Bournemouth.
Next up Pompey fans travel north to visit a club their team have not faced since 1959.
The vast majority of fans will be ticking off a new ground this weekend – and waking up at the crack of dawn to travel north for a 12.15pm kick-off.
N’Gala knows his team will have a good support for the game.
He said: ‘It’s ridiculous the following but as a kid you dream of playing in front of backing like that.
‘There is a big atmosphere wherever they go.’