Paul Cook refused to offer any excuses as Pompey crashed to a 3-0 loss to Newport County.
The Blues’ automatic promotion hopes took a huge hit as they fell to a comprehensive defeat to the Exiles at Fratton Park.
Pompey were flat in the first half as they went behind to Darren Jones’ goal.
Gary Roberts was then sent off by referee Ben Toner for a second yellow card - as he was judged to have dived on the edge of the box at the start of the second half.
Newport then punished Pompey with further efforts from Scott Boden and Dean Morgan as they chased the game.
Cook was not prepared to apportion blame for the loss on the the call from the referee, instead highlighting what his team produced simply wasn’t good enough.
He said: ‘Newport were better than us. They were brighter and more hungry.
‘They didn’t park the bus and we weren’t at it. That’s the reality.
‘We’re on a roll and everyone’s thinking we’re going to be alright. Football doesn’t work like that.
‘I’m not getting into the referee. We were flat way before any refereeing decisions.
‘There’s no excuses. We were beaten by a better side.’