Kenny Jackett has called on Pompey to rediscover their defensive steel to re-ignite their promotion charge.
The Blues have not kept a shut out in league action since defeating Southend on December 8 - a run spanning 11 games.
Jackett feels that is a major factor behind his side’s recent downturn in results in the league.
Pompey have kept 12 clean sheets this term, with the defensive strength a key to their powerful early-season form.
Jackett’s side have the fifth best defence in the division with the 32 goals they’ve conceded five behind Luton, Barnsley, Blackpool and Sunderland.
He said: ‘We’ve been too many games without a clean sheet. That’s been quite a considerable part of it.
‘But in terms of our defensive record it’s 32 goals against. That’s the fifth best in the division.
‘We’re not too far away and there’s quite a lot of sides around us with a few goals in it on those numbers over 31 games.
‘So we’re there or thereabouts but have to maintain or beat those numbers if we can across a real interesting run-in.’
In terms of attacking strength, Pompey’s 51 goals is a distance behind the 64 bagged by leaders Luton.
But Jackett noted that return is similar to most of their promotion rivals.
He said: ‘We’ve scored 51 goals which is the fourth best in the division.
‘In terms of goals scored, Luton are on 64 which is 13 more than us. Other than that particular stat it’s quite close with all the others.’
- JORDAN CROSS