Portsmouth centre-half Jack Whatmough believes Crawley Town have the credentials to flourish in League 2 this season.
Whatmough and his Pompey team were given a tough test by Reds in both teams final pre-season friendly on Saturday.
Crawley’s Dutch forward Thomas Verheydt opened the scoring but a brace of second half strikes from Brett Pitman ensured Portsmouth came back to record a 2-1 win.
Reds were dominant in the first half and caused Pompey no end of problems. As well as Verheydt’s first Crawley goal, Jordan Roberts had an effort cleared off-the-line while Enzio Boldewijn clipped the crossbar with a thunderous left-foot strike.
The threats, particularly from Crawley’s front-three of Verheydt, Roberts and Boldewijn, was something that impressed Whatmough.
He said: “It was a tough challenge and I think they are going to do quite well this year. They’ve got a good balance, they can hit the big man or play a bit as well.
“He (Verheydt) is a big lad and uses his body really well. He will be a handful for most centre-halves in League 2 this season.
“We had to do it last season in League Two and it’s going to be another step up in using your brain more.”