Andy Awford picked up his first point in caretaker charge of Pompey as they ground out a 0-0 draw at Hartlepool.
The Blues turned in an impressive defensive display but it was at the expense of much of their attacking intent as they seldom tested Hartlepool keeper Scott Flinders throughout the 90 minutes.
Awford made no secret of the fact he was looking to tighten the defence up.
And that saw Pompey leave Ryan Bird up front on his own with a five-man midfield working hard behind him.
In one of their rare attacking moments, Jed Wallace hit the inside of the post in the first half with a low drive that saw the loose ball trickle agonisingly across the goalline.
But the home side were not much a threat themselves going forward as Trevor Carson was well protected by the players in front of him.
The keeper was only seriously called into action in stoppage-time as Matty Dolan’s drive was tipped over.
But Pompey deserved their clean sheet, although it was at the expense of their attacking play and gives them a base to work from with a much-improved defensive showing.