Steve Cotterill believes Pompey were dealt rough justice in the south coast showdown against Brighton.
The Blues were floored as they fell to a 1-0 defeat against their newly-promoted rivals on Saturday .
Liam Lawrence’s missed penalty at the death meant Pompey came away empty handed.
But Cotterill was adamant his team’s performance warranted a return as they pushed back the Seagulls for much of the game.
Cotterill is confident his men will soon be picking up wins if they continue to perform how they did against Gus Poyet’s side.
The Pompey boss said: ‘We didn’t deserve it.
‘We’re not about to blame Liam for the penalty.
‘He will be a match-winner and will produce for us. He has in the past and will again.
‘There’s no blame attached to Liam for the loss.
‘Maybe we needed a bit of composure and a bit of luck. That may have helped us.
‘We’re not happy with how we conceded the goal. That would be the only thing to annoy us a bit. It was a shabby goal.
‘We can take a lot from the game and can build going forward.
‘It’s not often their attitudes let them down.
‘It’s happened a handful of times since I’ve been here but it happened against Barnet.
‘But they couldn’t be faulted for effort against Brighton
‘They were fully committed and a little unfortunate not to get something from the game.
‘If we’d had that bit of luck and if the post was two inches further to one side it could have been different.
‘It was a scruffy goal, too.
‘If we carry on working as hard as we played against Brighton we’ll get the luck on our side.’
Cotterill was pleased with the response of his players after their woeful loss to Barnet in the Carling Cup last week.
They upped their attitude and came out of the blocks quickly as they got about Brighton.
Cotterill felt the arrival of Benjani and cracking atmosphere as the Pompey Fans’ Conference dished out 17,000 flags would translate to a win.
He said: ‘There was a great atmosphere and the lads were desperate to win.
‘The players wanted to give the fans a win.
‘They let themselves down against Barnet.
‘But we’re all in this together.
‘We were a lot better than we were against Barnet.’
Cotterill made four changes from the Barnet loss with Kanu starting in place of Dave Kitson, who had a groin problem.
Jamie Ashdown, Hermann Hreidarsson and Tal Ben Haim all also came in.
Cotterill said ‘Kitson had a bit of a groin and I wanted to work with the team Friday, so I made that decision. I went with King but I know I can’t get two games out of him close together.
‘You know what you get with him.
‘He’s a magician and he can pull something out of the bag for you.
‘I thought he did well. We have to rest him up rather than get him fitter now.
‘We need to look after him.’