Kenny Jackett read Pompey the riot act after the defensive gaffes which sunk them at Blackburn.
The Blues boss was fuming at the naivety of his men as they fell to a 3-0 loss at a storm-hit Ewood Park.
Dion Donohue’s mistake set Rovers on their way as Jackett’s side fell to back-to-back away defeats.
Danny Graham extended the pre-season title favourites’ lead after the break – before Craig Conway settled it as conditions descended into the realms of farce.
Jackett quietly seethed at his team’s lack of resilience and nous against Tony Mowbray’s men.
He said: ‘As you go up the leagues and play against better players, they won’t turn down the kind of invitations we gave them.
‘They made less mistakes than we did, particularly at the back.
‘Now in two away games we’ve conceded five goals. That needs to be zeroes and one if you are to be successful.
‘That’s just the start. You need more on top of that but that’s just the starting base.
‘You have to be resilient and less brittle.
‘You need to come to places like Blackburn – where I have been many times – and be able to sustain bouts of pressure without giving chances away.
‘If they score against you it needs to be something special – and not us turning inside and giving the ball away and taking two of our four defenders out of the equation.
‘We offered them chances to hit the target – which they gladly accepted.’
Jackett made no bones about the fact his team are short of the qualities to call themselves a ‘top side’ in League One.
But he is adamant his men need to be showing the competitive edge they were woefully short of in sodden conditions.
Jackett added: ‘They were more solid and made less mistakes.
‘It’s not always about what you do at the top end of the scale. Teams at the top end, promoted sides, don’t always look great.
‘But they do look solid and they make very few mistakes.
‘Blackburn have that ring about them – and we haven’t at the moment.
‘We’re hoping to make mistakes and get away with them. We have to eradicate that.
‘This was always a game we needed to stay in.
‘You can talk about experience but being good players means making less mistakes than we currently do.
‘At times we feel we’re close to a side who can do well.
‘It is a close division and there are many teams like that who can get their spell and get it right.
‘They are staying in touch with the top sides.
‘We’re not kidding ourselves we are a top side but we want to stay in touch.
‘We’re a big club and we want to work towards being a powerful unit and competitor in this league.
‘It’s a tough division but we’re looking for more than three points out of nine. We have to be better than that.’