Consistency – Pompey’s missing ingredient which is hampering their aspirations.
The Blues’ erratic results have left them in 14th spot after 21 matches, hardly representative of a side eyeing the play-offs at the minimum.
A weekend 1-1 draw at Cheltenham ended a run of two straight defeats for Andy Awford’s men, certainly a positive.
Next up on Boxing Day they host AFC Wimbledon, opposition which possess the same amount of points yet occupy a spot below.
Not since August have Pompey recorded successive league victories and therein lies the problem.
For Awford, the inconsistency continues to hold back the desire of climbing the League Two table.
And he is determined to put that right.
He said: ‘We are back at Fratton Park for Boxing Day, roared on by 17,000 fanatical fans.
‘But it is a case of building on Saturday’s result and trying to find a level of consistency. That is what has been missing all season, that is the key for me.
‘I believe you get your just rewards if you keep putting in a level of performance.
‘Of course, you might get the odd game or two where you get unlucky and things don’t go for you or whatever.
‘But if you keep putting on performance after performance, as we have done recently, you get your just rewards and I am hoping on Saturday we put on another good performance and get what we deserve.
‘We have been inconsistent, our spikes of late show that, and we have underachieved in that respect, we haven’t been consistent enough as a whole.
‘When we were consistent at the start of the season we were in the top half of the league – you are in it.
‘Where we have shown the inconsistency is when we have dropped down into 12th, 13th, 14th in the league and that isn’t where we want to be, we want to be challenging in the top 10.’
Pompey have lost just two league matches at Fratton Park this season, a stark contrast to their away form.
Last time on home turf they slipped to a 3-2 defeat to Accrington at a time when there had been five consecutive losses on the road.
Awford, though, is adamant the entire picture should be looked at.
He added: ‘The home performances have been really good but I am trying to make it more rounded.
‘I don’t want to get into home and away form, I want us to be as a whole so I am concentrating on the last three games.’