Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray insisted there were positives to be taken from his side’s 4-0 thrashing at Pompey.
The Stags boss believes his side were more than a match for the Blues with their full quota of players on the field and comfortable with being down to 10 men.
A second dismissal for the visitors 15 minutes from time, though, was a step too far as they conceded three late goals to give the scoreline a flattering outlook.
That’s after defensive duo Kyle Howkins and Alex Iacovitti both saw red in the second half at Fratton Park.
Upbeat Murray told mansfieldtown.net: ‘We didn’t want to come here and hang on for a point, and in the first half I think we showed that.
‘We put them on the back foot, we made them defend, we had chances that we should have done better with – we could’ve gone in 2-0 up.
‘I think if you actually know the game and you’re watching the game up until 50 minutes or whatever it was, we more than matched them.
‘I felt we were controlling the game, we were causing them problems going forward.
‘They’re obviously a good side so they’re always going to cause you a couple of issues, but we felt comfortable.
‘We’re comfortable at 10 men. We’ve done it before, it’s something we work on – it’s the nature of the beast.
Going down to nine men, though, was the point of no return for the visitors.
Murray added: ‘To go down to nine men, it’s a kick in the teeth.
‘But I said to the lads: “Look, you’ve got to take that on the chin because for the most part of that game you’ve done yourself proud and you’ve come to a place and played our way.”
‘I watched the first hour and was chuffed to bits with it; the last 30 minutes, they’re even trying to press and close down but we’re leaving ourselves open.
‘It shows their endeavour and the passion just to do well and to do the right things, so I’m taking the 60 minutes from that game.’