Paul Cook admitted Pompey ‘stuttered’ as they fell to a painful loss to Oxford United.
The U’s picked up a crucial 1-0 win in the battle of the promotion-chasers at Fratton Park today.
Former Blues boss Michael Appleton saw his side put in a performance which just warranted a success, although clearcut chances were few and far between.
Cool respectfully praised his side’s opponents as he spoke following a loss which clearly hurt.
He said: ‘I thought Oxford were excellent.
‘As strong as we were on Tuesday, we stuttered today.
‘I’ve been around the game long enough to know what makes you good can make you weak.
‘That’s in terms of solidity and creating chances.
‘But you must give Oxford credit because they were excellent.
‘Whether that was enough for them to win is for others to decide.’