Mustapha Dumbuya admits Pompey are still making the adjustments in adapting their style to suit League One.
The Blues’ previous boss, Michael Appleton, was keen to play an expansive style of football.
But caretaker management duo Guy Whittingham and Andy Awford identified the need for the Blues to get back to basics to compete in the third tier of English football after a dreadful run of results.
Whittingham and Awford remain keen to get the side playing an attacking brand of football.
But the pair are also determined to make sure they strike the right balance.
And while Dumbuya knows it may take time to adjust, he has bought into the new way of thinking.
He explained: ‘When we first started, it was all about trying to keep the ball but I think we’ve realised that League One isn’t always about that.
‘Sometimes, you’ve just got to turn teams, get in their faces and try to grind out results.
‘Once you do that, you can then start playing a bit more football.’
Dumbuya started his Blues career in impressive style but admits he has had to curb his natural attacking instincts in recent times, with Pompey attempting to find more defensive solidity.
He said: ‘I’ve had to adapt my game and we’ve all definitely had to do that.
‘You can’t play the same way all the time.
‘I love to run forward and people want to see me doing what I want to do.
‘But I know I have to be disciplined sometimes because I have a job to do at the other end.
‘I have to have that discipline to defend properly first and foremost.
‘That is my foundation and from there, I can push on.’
And while the 25-year-old started his career as a winger, he now relishes his defensive duties.
He said: ‘I haven’t always been a defender and, back in my non-league days, I was a winger.
‘It was only when I got into the league that I went to right-back.
‘But I enjoy the defensive side of the game these days.
‘I like crunching someone, winning the ball and I enjoy playing there.’
– STEVE WILSON