Kenny Jackett is adamant Pompey are within touching distance of mounting a play-off challenge.
But the Blues boss insisted his side must go on an unbeaten streak if they’re to compete for a top-six place.
Pompey have been dogged by inconsistency this season.
Jackett’s troops have recorded back-to-back victories in League One just once.
As a result, they sit 11th in the table ahead of Southend’s visit to Fratton Park today (3pm).
Nevertheless, the Blues are just three points behind Rotherham, who currently occupy the final play-off spot.
Jackett predicts the turn of the year will be when the top six start to pull clear of the chasing pack.
He feels if Pompey can go on an unbeaten streak then they can be part of that group.
The Blues boss said: ‘We’re going to need to, definitely (go on an unbeaten streak).
‘At the turn of the year, a group of teams might start pulling away.
‘At times, we are in touching distance with them, at times we’re not.
‘After losing three league games and an FA Cup game you can’t help but start looking at the bottom of the table.
‘But for us, we want to be competing in the top bracket and if we’re not we’re working out a way internally that we can.
‘We will need a more consistent run to get there and the league tells you that.
‘The gap isn’t a big one but it is a vital one.
‘We’ve played some very good sides.
‘Wigan looked a very good team, as did Blackburn and at Scunthorpe you could see what they’re about – Bradford similar.
‘We can see where the top sides are and want to try to be one on those.
‘Do we need a consistent run to get up there? Of course we do.
‘But it’s within touching distance.’
Pompey are still acclimatising to life in the third tier after spending four seasons in League Two.
They’ve already faced seven teams in the top 10 this term – but picked up just four points from a possible 21.
Jackett revealed there is a noticeable gulf in class between the top 10 and the rest of the division.
‘The top 10 sides in this league are very good and there is a difference,’ he added.
‘No disrespect to the rest other the teams and League Two but you do see a step in class.
‘To be in the top 10 and in touch with the play-offs is a quite an achievement and shows you are a solid club.
‘That’s where we want to be and to break into that group – a bit like did Oxford last year – there’s quite a few clubs like that.
‘Fleetwood got into the play-offs last year, Bradford and Scunthorpe are very competitive at this level and are there or thereabouts looking for that break.
‘We want to be like those.’