Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink admitted: The best team won.
The Northampton boss had no qualms with the outcome as his side fell to a 2-0 Checkatrade Trophy loss against Pompey.
Hasselbaink felt a lack of know-how let the Cobblers down as they made it five games without scoring.
The manner in which Kenny Jackett’s troops broke for Gareth Evans’ goal four minutes before the break was a source of frustration for the former Chelsea and Leeds United striker.
Hasselbaink couldn’t knock his players’ application at Fratton Park but reckons they need to find some middle ground to what he feels is fluctuating their performances.
He told northamptonchron.co.uk: ‘We should have handled that break in the middle of the park, but that is the immaturity we have and the lack of know-how.
‘I can’t fault the players for trying and being honest and doing their best but in those moments we need a bit more know-how
‘It is always frustrating to lose but the thing is we need to find some good stability as we are too up and down, and I think the better team won on Saturday.
‘In patches we played alright, but in patches not so well and we need to really work at good stability.
‘That will give us a platform and the possibility to win matches.’
Hasselbaink felt there were a few moments in the game his team threatened Pompey, despite their second-round exit.
He believes failing to capitalise on their openings is a key factor behind Northampton’s struggles of late.
Since defeating the Blues in September, the Cobblers have won just three of 19 games to leave them in the League One drop zone.
Hasselbaink took solace that after falling out of the Checkatrade Trophy his side can now concentrate on improving their league fortunes.
That is firmly where the former Dutch international’s focus is now lying this season.
He told ntfc.co.uk ‘It didn’t quite happen for us and that has been the case in a few of our games this season.
‘We created a couple of chances and you have to take those chances.
‘We are getting into some good positions but we must capitalise on that.
‘The game was a bit up and down for us but we are trying to improve and find consistency in the things that we are doing well.
‘We are disappointed to be out this competition but we only have the league to focus on now and hopefully that will help.’
– JORDAN CROSS