There were moments, tantalising glimpses of striking quality.
Eoin Doyle’s introduction to Pompey didn’t yield a debut goal at Wycombe.
Nonetheless, Paul Cook was impressed with his deadline-day arrival’s maiden contribution.
The Blues slipped to consecutive defeats following Saturday’s 1-0 loss at Adams Park.
Scott Kashket’s wickedly-deflected goal was the difference in a result so harsh on the visitors.
Yet Doyle represented a positive having been handed an instant debut, replacing Conor Chaplin in a 4-2-3-1 system.
And Cook was delighted with his loan recruit from Preston.
He said: ‘I think everyone can see what Eoin Doyle will bring to us, his movement is absolutely frightening.
‘Although he needs a couple of games to bring him up to speed.
‘I possibly could have taken him off after 60 minutes, but didn’t want to. I wanted us to end up with Conor Chaplin on as well and to stay focused on attacking.
‘I don’t want to make random decisions as manager which managers tend to do, I want us to stay structured within the game.
‘Eoin’s a good player and has given our lads a lift by coming in – he will also give the club a lift.’
Doyle was one of five changes made to the side which performed so disappointingly in the previous weekend’s home defeat to Exeter.
Michael Smith has since been loaned to Northampton, while Danny Rose, Carl Baker, Kal Naismith and Chaplin found themselves dropped to the bench.
That meant recalls for Gary Roberts, Amine Linganzi and Kyle Bennett, while Jamal Lowe was handed a full Pompey debut.
Irrespective of the scoreline, Cook believed his changes were vindicated and remains encouraged by the performance against the Chairboys.
He added: ‘There was such balance in the team, energy in full-back areas and creativity.
‘Jamal Lowe did really well for a young boy and I enjoyed watching Roberts, he has a good relationship with Doyle and that will flourish.
‘Gary had an appetite, you can see that in him. A couple of things didn’t happen but it’s important now we just stay positive.
‘I have great belief in those players, they can cause every opposition problems.
‘We were penetrating, our passing was good, we were strong.
‘People say stats aren’t important but they are. If you play like that every week you will win football games.’
– NEIL ALLEN