Kenny Jackett reflected on missed early opportunities as Southampton ruthlessly claimed south-coast derby honours.
The Blues last night slipped to a 4-0 Carabao Cup defeat at a vibrant Fratton Park.
Yet for Jackett, it was a case of what might have been following an excellent opening 20 minutes when the Premier League side struggled to keep them at bay.
John Marquis hit a post, while Brett Pitman saw a header saved and a shot flash over the bar as the Blues dominated the visitors’ half.
Then Danny Ings broke the deadlock during Southampton's very first attack, putting them on their way to a comfortable triumph.
Jackett was pleased with the manner his side attacked Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side – but disappointed they couldn't capitialise on opportunities.
Pompey’s boss said: ‘We tried to ruffle their feathers a little bit if we could, we did that during both halves in spells, yet needed to score in those spells.
‘After that, to be fair, they were ruthless on the break and don’t miss.
‘Their keeper made some great saves early on, there was Pitman’s header and I couldn’t believe we couldn’t put the rebound in, but we had other chances in that period, which is frustrating.
‘We want to try to replicate that and also learn. Southampton are very good at pressing and very good at passing, when they get through they are ruthless.
‘At the start of the second half, if we had got a goal back it could have been a different story at 2-1 and attacking our fans.
‘Although we created pressure and chances in that period as well, the goal we needed to spark us off didn't come and they were ruthless on the break.
‘It was the right thing to challenge them, even at 2-0 I didn't think we were out of it, in both halves we had a good go at them – without ultimately being successful.’
Jackett was also heartened how his team is shaping up, irrespective of the comprehensive nature of the scoreline.
And he was encouraged by the displays of a number of players, in particular Oli Hawkins and Ryan Williams.
He added: ‘I do think we have enough quality and need to settle that back four down.
‘James Bolton is up to speed and played tonight, partnerships are so important at the back, and Burgess is a very, very competent campaigner as well.
‘We are looking to settle the back four down if we can, but similarly I feel we have firepower up front for our level.’