Pompey failed to replace Matt Clarke and Jamal Lowe during the transfer window.
That’s the verdict of former Charlton and Southend boss Chris Powell, when he appeared as a pundit on the EFL on Quest highlights programme.
Clarke and Lowe were both key players as the Blues narrowly missed out on promotion last season but won the Checkatrade Trophy.
The former, named in the League One Team of the Season, completed a £4m move to Premier League Brighton in June – before joining Derby on loan.
And following a protracted transfer saga, 17-goal top scorer Lowe joined Wigan for around £2.5m.
Kenny Jackett’s men have endured a terrible start to their League One campaign and slipped to 20th in the table following a 1-0 loss at Wycombe on Saturday.
The boss’ position has come under pressure, with some members of the travelling Fratton faithful at Adams Park calling for him to be sacked.
And Powell believes a significant reasons behind Pompey’s dismal opening to the campaign is because they didn’t recruit the right players to fill the voids Clarke and Lowe left.
The former Southend manager said: ‘I do indeed (have sympathy for Jackett)
‘But when you look at their side from last year, they’ve lost Matt Clarke and Jamal Lowe – two outstanding players.
‘Have they replaced them? I don’t think so.
‘They had a good strong season, just missed out (on promotion) losing to Sunderland in the play-offs and won the Checkatrade.
‘I’m sure the fans are saying “We want a bit more” but it’s been a bit tougher for them so far.
‘They’ve changed formations but hopefully Kenny can get it right.’
On the same day as Clarke joined Brighton, the Blues announced the signing of Paul Downing from Blackburn on a free transfer.
Meanwhile, Norwich youngster Sean Raggett was also drafted in on loan to give Jackett options at the back.
Neither featured at Adams Park on Saturday as Jackett opted to pair Oli Hawkins with Christian Burgess in the centre of defence.
Marcus Harness was recruited from Burton to fill the void left by Lowe.
The winger has impressed for the Blues, scoring three goals in seven appearances.
Yet hasn’t played since the 1-1 draw at Blackpool because of a thigh complaint.