Keith Hill admitted Pompey were better than his side in every department.
The boss looked on as Rochdale fell to a 3-1 loss at Spotland on Saturday against the League One leaders.
The scoreline didn’t tell the story of the afternoon, however, with the hosts taking the lead through an excellent Aaron Wilbraham strike from just shy of 30 yards.
The Dale also had periods of pressure after the restart before Brett Pitman put the visitors in charge with 19 minutes left.
Hill admitted Pompey managed the game better than his side as they returned to Fratton Park with all three points.
And the Rochdale boss saw an opponent who were superior to the hosts all over the pitch – although he wasn’t too downbeat about that.
Hill said: ‘The difference between the two sides is that they made better decisions on the pitch than us.
‘I thought we played some nice stuff at times but I’m disappointed with the result.
‘There wasn’t a lack of energy, work-rate, endeavour or honesty.
‘I just feel as though they were probably better than us in every department, and there’s no shame in that.’
Wilbraham lit up the game with his viciously-dipping fourth-minute effort which left Craig MacGillivray with no chance.
The striker told how the inspiration for the fine finish came from his own flesh and blood.
Wilbraham said: ‘I’ve probably got my daughter to thank for it.
‘I was talking to her about her netball and saying that she should shoot more.
‘She said to me that I should probably score more!
‘So I probably owe that one to her.’
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