Kenny Jackett bemoaned Pompey’s cutting edge in the absence of Brett Pitman following defeat at Peterborough.
With the 12-goal skipper out through a hamstring problem, the Blues struggled in the final third as they slipped to a 2-1 loss on the day Jackett earned a new deal.
Jack Marriott and a Kal Naismith own goal handed Peterborough a 2-0 lead after 70 minutes before substitute Conor Chaplin pulled one back.
But there was to be no leveller and Pompey’s three-match winning run came to an end at London Road.
Jackett said: ‘It was a very tight game, in the first half they hit the bar but we hit the post through Curtis Main.
‘There were not many chances, we were just getting on top when they scored their first goal but they broke with a bit of quality and Maddison has got down the inside left channel between our full-backs and centre-backs and absolutely put it on a plate.
‘Then a wide free-kick was conceded for the second and it was an own goal from Kal Naismith.
‘Generally we looked strong, we were threatening in and around their box and up to their box, but we couldn’t find the shots needed.
‘We didn’t have enough one-v-one situations where we got past people. Jamal Lowe was a threat but in the end we couldn’t find the assist or goal. We need that cutting edge.’