Kenny Jackett believes Pompey’s defensive strengthening has increased his side’s attacking capabilities.
The Blues boss has created the second-best defensive record in League One following the summer signings of Craig MacGillivray and Lee Brown.
Only second-placed Peterborough (13) can better Pompey’s return of 14 goals conceded in 16 games.
However, Jackett is convinced his rearguard are also having a positive impact on his team’s forward-thinking aspirations.
And with 27 league goals so far, it’s a defensive contribution which is reaping rewards at the other end of the pitch.
He said: ‘We’ve been good defensively this season.
‘In terms of our goals against, last season it was 56, so we wanted to try to improve. While also, obviously, we wanted to improve on 57 goals scored.
‘And if you are looking to improve on 66 points, that is where we are trying to get better through all our targets.
‘I think we’ve got a good balance between defending well as a group, but also providing good service to the forward players and being incisive enough and quick enough with our distribution to give our forward players chances in space.
‘A slow build-up sometimes can look good for the defenders on the ball and being composed, but it allows the opposition to get back in numbers, to have a little bit of a breather and be goal-side of the ball.
‘So while you're looking for composure coming out, you need incisive passes that can put people away and give chances to the forwards in the best possible circumstances, such as time and space.
‘For us it’s a combination of the two, but generally you do judge a defence on goals against.
‘And that has been set-up to give us a good keeper, a good back four and the basis of a good defensive record.’