OWEN Coyle has no qualms about pitching his Wanderers side into a potential cauldron at Fratton Park tomorrow.

Emotions are raw at Portsmouth because of the ongoing precarious financial situation that leaves the club staring liquidation in the face.

A fan protest march has been organised before the game, which could, in the worst case scenario, be the club’s last should they fail to reach a settlement with the three remaining big earners on their books before an August 10 deadline set down by administrators.

Among them, former Whites defender Tal Ben Haim, who is currently persona non grata on the South Coast after sticking to his guns over a £2million settlement he claims is owed to him for the final year of his contract.

He was booed by both sets of supporters in a midweek friendly at Aldershot and should be pitched in again tomorrow for an even more vitriolic reception.

Coyle sought assurances from his opposite number Michael Appleton that the team Wanderers were about to face would be of sufficient standard to make the trip worthwhile.

Happy with the answer he got, he is expecting a good workout for the side that chalked up their first win of pre-season at Morecambe on Wednesday night.

“I’ve spoken to Michael because, of course, you would have reservations looking from the outside in,” he told The Bolton News . “But he’s assured me there will be a strong squad put out there and we’re going to Portsmouth knowing it will be a tough game.

“The other thing you know heading to Fratton Park is that there will be a partisan crowd.

“I just felt that kind of atmosphere could only help our preparation. We’ve played every game so far away from home purposely.”

Several players were kept out of the action at the Globe Arena after playing the majority of the weekend’s draw at Crewe. Coyle hopes the 2-0 victory can give his side some momentum but also warned that he expects to see some improvement on the defensive side after a few nervous moments at Morecambe.

“We rested a couple of the lads because we didn’t want them playing 90 minutes back to back right now but they’ll be back into the frame again for Portsmouth,” he confirmed.

“But how they went about it in the first half was really good. They scored two goals and could have had a few more.

“They had a few chances and I’ve let them know in no uncertain terms that there are things I want them to cut out as well, so there’s still things to work on.”

Minor injuries to Chung-Yong Lee, Zat Knight, Chris Eagles, Matt Mills, Tim Ream and David Ngog all now appear to have cleared, leaving Coyle with a relatively full squad to pick from.

And heading into the final three games of the summer, he is now aiming to concentrate on the fine tuning after dealing with the hard graft of fitness.

“We have trained them very hard and even in the games up in Scotland, we’d been training in the morning and then playing in the afternoon,” he said.

“Those fitness levels are up now and they’ll serve us well all season.

“What we’re doing now is not training on the morning of the games, and we’re treating it as if it’s a proper matchday. Hopefully with that will come the sharpness, and I’ve got no doubt that over the next two weeks it will build and build.

“Step by step it’s going the right way, and that continues with Portsmouth, Tranmere and then Barcelona B at home before the little matter of a trip to Burnley.”

Ben Haim – who left Wanderers in 2007 for Chelsea and has since played for Manchester City, West Ham and Sunderland – will be joined by another Pompey player currently trying to sever ties with the club, Liam Lawrence, although a third, Dave Kitson, is injured.

Pompey will give trials to former Derby front men Brian Howard and Izale McLeod and ex-Chelsea full-back Jon Harley.