Richie Barker felt Pompey had been dealt a cruel blow after seeing his side fall to a stoppage-time 2-1 loss at Southend.
A double from Ryan Leonard cancelled out Sonny Bradley’s opener to leave the Blues starting 2014 with defeat – even though the Pompey boss felt they deserved far more for their efforts.
Barker said: ‘The workrate was fantastic – they did everything we asked them to do.
‘The only thing they didn’t do was to compete with the long ball at the end because they dealt with everything else.
‘So it’s very disappointing.
‘If you take into consideration that it’s a team who will probably finish in the play-offs at least, then it would probably be our best performance since I came here.
‘We’ve conceded a minute before half-time and a minute before the end of the game.
‘It’s cruel but you’ve got to see the game through and you’ve got to keep concentrating right up until the end.
‘Their goalkeeper pulled off far more saves than Trevor did so we must have done something right.’