Nathan Thompson admitted Pompey are aspiring to become a solid defensive unit like Scunthorpe.
The Iron kept a clean sheet in their 2-0 victory against Kenny Jackett’s side at Glanford Park on Saturday.
It was their sixth shutout in nine games this season, with Graham Alexander’s side shipping just three goals in League One so far.
In the second half, Pompey saw a lot of the ball without penetrating Scunthorpe’s defensive line.
On a whole, it was a comfortable afternoon for the hosts.
Thompson was impressed with the Iron’s resilient defence and insisted the Blues are working hard to become a similarly strong team.
He said: ‘We’ve got a young back four and it takes time to establish that connection.
‘They’ve only conceded three goals in nine games, so fair play to them – but that’s what we’ve got to try to replicate.
‘I think it’s difficult when a team is content with a 2-0 lead and they sit in.
‘It’s hard to play through them and that’s why it’s so important for us to try to draw goals out of their holes in behind.’
Although the Blues suffered a deserved loss at Scunthorpe, they did match the opponents in the early stages.
Oliver Hawkins missed a gilt-edged chance from close range on 30 minutes, after Lee Novak gave the hosts an early lead.
Thompson insisted the first goal in games in League One is crucial to being successful.
He added: We saw last week (against Fleetwood) that when sides have to come and chase the game a little bit, it creates more chances.
‘That’s why it’s so important for us to come out of the traps quickly and take the lead.’
– WILL ROONEY