Guy Whittingham remains upbeat Pompey will end their scoring drought as he insisted: The goals will come.
The caretaker Blues boss saw his side fire blanks once again as they crashed to a sixth straight loss against Doncaster Rovers on Saturday and stretched their time without a goal to a staggering 489 minutes.
But while it was another day that ultimately ended in disappointment, there were at least some positive signs that the Blues are starting to rediscover their attacking verve.
And Whittingham – who will remain in charge of Pompey while the club is still in administration, despite reports linking Paul Ince with the managerial hot seat – believes they will end a run of more than eight hours without a goal tomorrow night at home to Leyton Orient.
‘It just wasn’t our day in front of goal (on Saturday),’ he said.
‘I don’t think it looked like we’d had five defeats in a row.
‘It wasn’t a team playing without any confidence.
‘One of the frustrating things was that from a couple of corners, the ball was hanging around in the penalty area and there was nobody there to smash it in.
‘You are thinking “where is someone?”
‘I found that frustrating more than anything else.
‘But we did a lot of the right things and we’ve got to do that again tomorrow night.
‘Sometimes it just needs that one moment for everything to click, but you make your own luck.
‘In previous games, we haven’t really deserved the luck.
‘But this time, I thought they (the players) did what I asked them to do.
‘When it doesn’t come off, you’ve just got to work hard and keep feeling positive about it. It will come.’
After conceding another sloppy defensive goal midway through the first half, Pompey improved after the break.
They came close to finding an equaliser when Lubomir Michalik’s header rattled back off the woodwork.
Izale McLeod then wasted a gilt-edged opportunity when he was put clean through on goal, only to balloon his effort over the crossbar.
Whittingham said: ‘Lubo was unlucky with his header and Izale knows he should have scored.
‘We almost delivered but almost isn’t close enough.
‘We’ve got to make sure we get the ball in the back of the net because that’s what counts – I know it’s an obvious statement.
‘And when you aren’t scoring goals, you need to keep clean sheets.
‘We should have defended their goal a lot better than we did.’
The caretaker boss took heart from the home fans’ reaction inside Fratton Park, though, as they stayed with the team and applauded their efforts at the final whistle.
Whittingham added: ‘I’m sure the fans noticed the improvement. They wouldn’t have applauded the players off if they didn’t think they had put the effort in, despite the result.
‘We’re passionate people, we know the fans here are passionate and we know what they want.’