Kenny Jackett admitted he’ll give Southend the same respect as any other side in their preparations for Tuesday night’s game at Fratton Park.
But with his own team's league placing and performances coming under the spot light, the Blues boss added he’s expecting his troops to raise their game and inflict more pain on new Shrimpers boss Sol Campbell.
Pompey welcome Southend to PO4 with the Roots Hall outfit sitting second from bottom in the table.
Since Campbell took over last month, Southend been beaten by both Ipswich and Sunderland, although the Blues’ 2008 FA Cup-winning captain has sees signs of progress in his players.
The Fratton Park fixture will represent only his third game in charge.
But while the former England defender has his own battle to overcome, Jackett is also looking to strengthen his side’s standing in the table.
The Blues sit 15th in League One and 13 points better off than their latest opponents.
And while many would see this game as a good opportunity for Pompey to climb the table, Jackett believes Southend deserve as much respect as any other team in the division.
The manager said: ‘With every opponent there’s some respect.
‘Obviously, performances have been good for them and we know we’ll have to work really, really hard where ever a side are in the table.
‘We have to overcome them and get the points – whether that be someone on a good run like Oxford were or Coventry earlier in the season, or someone who at present are in the relegation zone but who have had an upturn in terms of their performances.
‘We’ll respect them, understand their strengths and weaknesses, but then after that try to impose ourselves on the game as we do with every opponent and set our own standards, and try if we can to raise them.’
Pompey will welcome back Brett Pitman for the game against Southend.
The forward has missed the past four matches with a groin problem.