Michael Appleton rued poor Pompey shipping the fist goal which proved crucial in their downfall at Notts County.
Appleton feels his side’s brittle confidence is being battered into submission by giving away sloppy goals.
That was the case at Notts County today as they fell behind inside five minutes.
The early goal deflated the Blues who then saw the game drift away from them with two strikes in 12 minutes after the restart.
Appleton knows off-the-field issues are proving problematic - but isn’t accepting that as a reason for his team’s poor form.
The loss makes it three defeats on the bounce and one win in eight league games.
Appleton said: ‘You’ve got to get the first goal in games to give yourself a chance.
‘We go and concede in the first five minutes to make things doubly difficult for ourselves.
‘We created a few decent chances and then concede five minutes into the second half. That’s pretty much the final nail in the coffin.
‘We keep kicking ourselves in the teeth by conceding first, and with confidence how it is at the moment it’s not helping us.
‘It didn’t look like we had it in us in the second-half.
‘The heads are dropping because of everything is happening - but I’m accepting that as an excuse.’