Johnny Ertl believes the goals will now start to flow for Pompey after Ryan Taylor ended their recent scoring drought.
The skipper was the last man to net in September’s 1-1 draw with Wycombe – before the two 0-0 draws at Hartlepool and York City.
Blues boss Andy Awford had shrugged off the worries over his team’s failings in front of goal and insisted things would improve.
Taylor’s cool first-half finish against Northampton last night got Pompey back on the goal trail, although it did not spark a goal rush or prevent a 2-1 defeat in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
Ertl, however, believes that is just the start of better fortunes in front of goal after a recent blip.
He said: ‘It was a great finish from Tayls and we created a lot of chances in the first half.
‘We were under the cosh in the second half but we ended the game strongly and gave it everything to get back into it.
‘Of course, this competition wasn’t the priority this season but we wanted to have a go at it.
‘We could have ended up at Wembley if we had got to the final.
‘It’s disappointing that we have lost this game but I thought there were a lot of positives in the performance.
‘I think it shows we have goals in this team.
‘We are not conceding many goals recently and we are creating chances.
‘It’s just that final bit that we are missing, but it will come.
‘We are on the right track.’
The Austrian was less than impressed, though, with the referee Graham Horwood’s performance last night – especially his handling of the incident that saw Ricky Holmes lucky to escape serious injury after a wild tackle from Lawson D’Ath.
Ertl said: ‘I have never seen a tackle like that. For me, it was a straight red and I couldn’t believe he (the referee) only showed a yellow card.
‘It’s unbelievable that Ricky gets a yellow card for supposedly diving and their player got the same punishment for that tackle.
‘I don’t know if it was a penalty but there were a lot of decisions against us.
‘But the ref got a lot of decisions wrong on the night.
‘I’m really disappointed with the him. He got so many things wrong and that was really frustrating.
‘It’s so frustrating.
‘As captain, you talk to the referees.
‘But he made his mind up and you couldn’t talk to him.
‘I never criticise referees normally, but this time I am fuming about it.’
Although the former Sheffield United man was unhappy at the official’s efforts, he was far more pleased with a clutch of homegrown players playing for the Blues.
‘Credit to the young boys – I think they stepped up,’ said Ertl.
‘Everybody can be proud because there were a lot of homegrown players out there.
‘In the first half, we played well and there were a lot of good combinations across the park.
‘We changed the personnel around and unfortunately Adam Webster and Joe Devera had to go off, so we had to change things during the game.
‘It’s a disappointing defeat but now we have our attentions on making sure we get a win against Mansfield on Saturday.’
JPT results round-up: Hartlepool 1-2 Sheff Utd, Burton 0-3 Doncaster, Oldham 2-2 Barnsley (Oldham won 4-2 on penalties), Rochdale 0-1 Walsall, Tranmere 1-1 Carlisle (Tranmere won 5-4 on penalties), Bury 3-1 Morecambe, Preston 3-2 Port Vale,
Scunthorpe 1-2 Notts County, Dag & Red 0-2 Leyton Orient, Colchester 3-3 Gillingham (GIllingham won 4-2 on penalties), Coventry 3-1 Exeter, Luton 0-1 Crawley, MK Dons 2-3 Wimbledon, Plymouth 3-2 Swindon