Gary Roberts insists the bad taste from the Stevenage defeat has lingered longer than usual.
Now inconsistent Pompey are striving to lift themselves for a productive performance at Grimsby.
It is almost two weeks since the Blues’ last fixture – a 2-1 League Two loss to Stevenage.
That Fratton Park result also produced a half-time dressing room fracas between Christian Burgess and Michael Doyle.
Having been eliminated from the FA Cup and Checkatrade Trophy, there has been no first-team match since.
Now the fourth-placed side travel to Blundell Park seeking to bounce back.
And Roberts admits the outcome of their previous outing stung.
He said: ‘After a defeat and then no game there is nothing really to look forward to, so you think back.
‘The defeat dragged a little bit longer and that is natural, but to be fair it has not been a nice few days.
‘The loss really hurt us and we’ve had a long time to digest that and put it right.
‘You want that winning feeling again, it wasn’t a good taste in the mouth afterwards.
‘Coming into the Stevenage game, everyone was bang up for it, we were desperate to win the game and I don’t know why it got the better of us.
‘We were a little bit too on edge in the first half. Perhaps it was due to everyone wanting to win that game so much.
‘We weren’t too bad in the first half, Kyle Bennett hit the post, Michael Smith had one or two chances, any of those go in it’s a totally different game.
‘But the performance wasn’t us at all, we didn’t look good in the second half at all. You cannot perform like that, especially on our own patch.’