KENNY JACKETT saluted his players’ character after being dealt a late sucker-punch in their play-off bid.
Pompey were left floored by Blackburn’s 87th-minute winner as the promotion chasers snaffled three points away from Fratton Park.
Adam Armstrong’s goals made the difference as Rovers grabbed a 2-1 success to stall the Blues’ hopes of closing in on the top six.
The late goal meant Conor Chaplin’s second finish on the bounce came to nothing on his first start since Boxing Day.
The hope was the weekend win at MK Dons would be the launch pad to a run of positive results, with Pompey in the midst of a run of five games in 15 days.
Their overall performance warranted a return but they were left to rue not taking more of the chances which fell their way.
They mustered 14 shots on goal to the visitors’ seven, but still came away empty handed.
Jackett said: ‘The result is what it is.
‘That’s the way it is at the end of the day, but I felt we were unfortunate.
‘We played at a good pace and created chances. I was pleased with the attitude.
‘When you look at their squad they have every club in the bag.
‘It’s a good result for them, but my players tried and showed good passion for the club and the shirt.
‘We put a lot of pressure on the opposition and showed good heart and spirit.
‘Ultimately, the bottom line is we lost the game, so we’re disappointed about that.
‘But it’s a situation where our players showed plenty of passion and spirit.
‘They showed passion for the shirt and created a high number of chances.’
Jackett felt there were lessons to be learned from the game for his men if they are to close the gap to the play-offs, which now stands at four points.
Besides being more clinical, the 56-year-old believes his players need to show more guile and craft in their attacking play.
That, he felt, was an area they came up short on in front of a crowd of 18,152.
Jackett said: ‘Making the right decision at the right time is something that can help us going forward.
‘That’s particularly the case going in and around their box and in their half of the field.
‘That could make us just a little more clinical.
‘When Blackburn get moving it’s hard to get back with them. They make the right moves and the right decisions. Some of ours broke down.
‘Making the right decision on the ball will improve us going forward. We will continue to improve in that area.
‘At times it looked it like we were trying to batter the door down. It nearly worked.
‘Similarly, though, the right selection and the right ball at the right time is important.
‘That’s maybe what we have to look at if we’re to go from where we are now to being a Blackburn.’