Danny Rose revealed Pompey’s players launched a dressing room inquest in the aftermath of their Exeter body blow.
And he believes that exchange of ‘constructive criticism’ can help put the Blues back on track for promotion.
The overriding thing I remember being saying is we could be part of a bit of history here in terms of getting this great club on the way back to where it belongsDanny Rose
David Wheeler’s 57th minute goal settled Saturday’s Fratton Park encounter in the Grecians’ favour.
In a match of few goalscoring opportunities, worryingly the Blues could muster no reaction and limped to defeat.
The result made it five successive victories for Paul Tisdale’s side, while Pompey slip down to fifth in League Two.
Crucially, it raised more doubts over whether Paul Cook’s side have enough to make the top three.
Rose said: ‘Cussing each other is not going to get us anywhere, we need to work out what wasn’t right and make sure we get it right next time.
‘Discussions were certainly constructive in terms of trying to break down the game and why this and that didn’t happen.
‘You always try to take as many positives as you can. There probably weren’t too many, but the fact is there is a long way to go and a lot of time to get up the table.
‘The gaffer and Leam said what they had to say, everyone was disappointed, and when the staff left the room we had a discussion between ourselves.
‘It probably took 10-15 minutes, with people saying their bit and their opinion on certain things and how we move forward from here.
‘It’s about sticking together, that is the most important thing, dealing with disappointment and being able to bounce back – and not going into little cliques or whatever, which we haven’t got.
‘The fact the lads took it upon themselves to speak as a group shows we all care.
‘Everybody could have sat there or had their shower or gone off home or spoken to their missus, but there was constructive criticism in that dressing room.
‘The overriding thing I remember being said is we could be part of a bit of history here in terms of getting this great club on the way back to where it belongs.
‘When you look back on your career, you want to have successful seasons and promotions on your CV and, above all, have no regrets.’
Rose was inadvertently involved in the decisive goal after closing down Reuben Reid.
Michael Doyle’s clearance ricochetted off the midfielder and, helpfully, into the path of Wheeler, who made no mistake.
He added: ‘They didn’t trouble us too much in terms of goalscoring opportunities, although had a few in the first half which they may have felt should have done better with.
‘But the goal, certainly in terms of the build-up, was fortuitous for them.
‘Michael Doyle and myself were closing down Reuben and, when he cut inside, Doyler tried to poke the ball away and it came off my shin or foot and fell kindly into the path of Wheeler.
‘Fair play to him, he finished it very well.
‘Reid’s a threat driving with the ball, he is strong, powerful and has quality. We had to crowd him out in that moment and we did that.
‘Then the ricochet fell kindly to Wheeler.’