Portsmouth manager Danny Cowley revealed a stomach bug had ripped through his squad before their 0-0 draw at home to former side Lincoln.
A dull game produced very little goalmouth excitement in front of a crowd of almost 18,000 at a sun-baked Fratton Park.
Cowley said: “The positives of the match was the attitude and application of the players.
“We’ve kept a clean sheet and I don’t think Lincoln had a shot on target. I thought they were a resilient side, a much-improved side.
“We weren’t able to find the balance today and were too direct. We are better than that.
“We had a number that didn’t train yesterday because of a stomach bug, and actually played a few of them today, which in hindsight we shouldn’t have.
“But they gave it their all. It was naturally frustrating, but we’re a new group, and we haven’t quite got the balance yet.
“We’ve brought Tom Lowery in, and he will excite the crowd. He has the ability technically to get on the ball and handle it very well. He is a very creative player and is a good addition to the team.”
Lincoln failed to manage a single shot on target and Pompey just four with Reeco Hackett having the best of those chances two minutes before half-time.
Hackett’s initial effort bounced off goalkeeper Carl Rushworth, but his follow-up shot under pressure was way over the crossbar.
The second half was even less eventful, although Pompey made four substitutions and Lincoln two.
It brought the game to life, but shots on target and goals failed to materialise, and the deadlock could still not be broken, despite eight minutes of added time.
Lincoln boss Mark Kennedy said: “It was a great credit to the team and the staff today. I say that because a lot of things go on on the touchline which people don’t know about. Everybody has played their part today.
“It was a very mature performance. We were surprised at the eight added minutes. No one seemed to help us on that side of things today, but we all just get on with it, and we were aggressive until the final whistle.
“We didn’t get any rub of the green today, but the referees have a tough job. I thought Adam Jackson was outstanding when he came on.
“I say that because he hasn’t played any games, and he did himself justice. We’ve got a lot of new staff in, so we are all getting to know each other. But there is a real unity within the whole group.”
Subscribe or register today to discover more from DonegalLive.ie
Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.
Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.