Kenny Jackett admitted Pompey’s lack of crossing quality cost them the points at Shrewsbury.
The Blues boss knows his team’s final ball was the key factor in their falling to a frustrating opening-day defeat at New Meadow.
Jackett feels his side have to learn to be more effective in wide areas.
He said: ‘We had so much of the game as the away side.
‘For two-thirds of the pitch we did quite well.
‘But their back five sat off and dealt with what we came up with.
‘Our crossing, particularly from the right, wasn’t very good.
‘There was a good volume of balls in but we didn’t get anything from it.
‘They gave us those areas but were strong in the middle.
‘I was frustrated with the final-third play. I didn’t really feel we had the man or men to beat their men or get behind people.
‘The quality of the crossing wasn’t there. It was the biggest issue,
‘There was a lot of set-pieces won, too.
‘For two-thirds of that pitch it was quite comfortable, but we needed to make it pay much more in wide areas.
‘It’s cost us the points in the end.’
The home side's strength and resilience at the back caught the eye as John Marquis was given some no-nonsense treatment on his debut as a permanent Pompey player.
Marquis took the hits but the plan to make the most of space win wide areas wasn't effective.
He added: ‘The final third is where they packed the box and ultimately it worked for them because we couldn’t quite break them down.
‘A succession of balls were either not attacked enough or of the quality we need when we get into good positions.
‘Then one’s dropped to Ronan (Curtis) at the end. he’s struck through it well and it’s hit (Christian) Burgess and gone over when it looked like we could salvage something from the game.
‘Two v one in wide areas is something we knew would be strong against their system.
‘We couldn’t find a player to get past people in that one v one area.
‘Similarly there wasn’t a passing combination to get us in behind.
‘In terms of crossing I just didn’t think there was enough quality.’