Guy Whittingham insisted he was ‘encouraged’ with Pompey’s performance despite slipping further in the relegation mire.
A goalless draw against Stevenage made it just two defeats in the past 12 matches for his improving team.
But with three matches left, the Blues are now two points adrift from safety - with fifth-from-bottom Oldham having three games in hand.
Regardless, the caretaker boss had praise for a side which has now not conceded at Fratton Park for 423 minutes.
Whittingham said: ‘It’s disappointing because we want to win every game, but you take encouragement from the performance.
‘I would probably argue we should have won and they could probably argue they should have won it at the end when they hit the bar.
‘It’s all about the performance for me. We didn’t look as sharp as we did in the past, didn’t play the ball on the floor as much as we could have done and didn’t play enough football.
‘But we defended resolutely again and that was so important.
‘And it was encouraging towards the end where we had four under-19s out there and looked liked the team that was going to score, which was pleasing.’