Steve Cotterill has called for transfer action from Pompey or face another fruitless summer.
And he believes a demonstration of ambition could also go towards keeping David Nugent at Fratton Park.
The Blues boss has revealed he has lined up a raft of signings once the season is over.
The majority of those are free transfers and players he believes are eager to make the switch to the south coast.
Yet Cotterill feels inactivity from the club’s hierarchy is threatening to cost him his targets.
And he has warned the club it is a lack of progress which will see the Blues miss out.
He said: ‘The club had better hurry up and start doing something about it otherwise we will be behind again.
‘I have got my targets, it is in my diary in my office. I have absolutely got mine.
‘The minute we get one player over the line there won’t be any time because we’ll be on to the next one, and then when we finish that one we’ll be on to the next one.
‘All of those we will be frees. Then we have to decide if we’ve got any money.
‘We’ll need more than eight probably. We’re going to have only eight or nine players here at the end of the season.
‘Still, what’s new? That will be two more than last year.
‘There is nothing happening above, though, and that is the big worry for me because I won’t be happy if they end up signing for somebody else on the back of the work I have done already.
‘It means I will have to start again and also will cost us a lot more money because those players are good players on free transfers and we have got to get in there.
‘Personally, I would have this done by now.
‘The players might want to come here, perhaps we are their first choice, which is also important to me.’
While Cotterill continues to plan ahead, he is also wary of Nugent’s future.
The striker has pledged to wait until the end of the season before recommencing contract talks.
Cotterill doesn’t necessarily take that as an indication the 25-year-old has made up his mind to leave. But he believes the sight of quality players coming into the club could prove to be a trump card.
He added: ‘If I was to go and get three or four players across the line it would make it a lot easier for Nuge.
‘He might think “hello”.
‘It’s what players want to do, players want to come to winning teams.
‘At the moment, though, nobody will know what Nuge is really thinking or his agent is really thinking.
‘Just because he hasn’t signed his contract yet doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to stay.
‘He might be simply just leaving it until the end of the season.’