Lee Brown has conceded Pompey overachieved during their table-topping presence earlier in League One’s season.
But the left-back is adamant they are strongly positioned to clinch automatic promotion during the remaining 14 league fixtures.
Brown acknowledges the Blues’ stumbling form which has seen them surrender the top spot they previously held for three-and-a-half months.
The former Bristol Rovers man, however, insists Kenny Jackett’s men continue to be firm contenders.
Tonight’s visit of Rovers marks the first of three successive league matches at Fratton Park.
And Brown is upbeat over Pompey’s ongoing promotion aspirations.
He said: ‘Enough was said after the Southend game to know we were thoroughly disappointed with what happened, we don’t need to pick the bones out of it too much.
‘Sometimes we’ve got to step back and have a look at it and say “Are we in a good position?”. Yes.
‘Have we overachieved in the first half of the season? Probably.
‘When we fall out of it having been top for so long, it’s so easy to get so down and think it has been a massive fail.
‘But we are third in the league. If this had been offered in July, I think people would have snapped your hand off.
‘Don’t get me wrong, we are thoroughly disappointed that we’ve lost ground and are not still in the automatic spots.
‘Sometimes, though, you have to take a step back and say “Right, we are third in the league in the middle of February with 14 league games to go. What a great opportunity we have”.
‘Would we have taken it at the start of the season? Definitely.
‘In that respect we are in a good position, so let’s try to build a bit of momentum going into the final 14 league games of the season.’
Pompey’s last League One victory arrived over AFC Wimbledon on New Year’s Day.
And Brown has stressed the importance of positive thinking.
He added: ‘We have a good bunch of players, we care, you can see that after the game. It’s not a group that doesn’t care or we wouldn’t be third in League One.
‘People care, but sometimes people can care too much and get too down and that’s a problem, it’s a problem going into the next game because we need to keep spirits up and go into tonight in a positive mind. I would take a scrappy 1-0 win.’