Ryan Williams is confident Pompey will rise to the challenge with a tough run of League One fixtures on the horizon.
The Blues have won just four of 13 league fixtures this term and find themselves 16th in the table.
And things don’t get any easier for Kenny Jackett’s in the remaining games of 2019.
Pompey take on each of the current top five in their 10 matches left this calendar year.
But rather than be daunted by the games to come, Williams sees it as an ideal opportunity for the Blues to start proving they are promotion candidates.
The Australian winger believes now is the time to prove they can compete with the best in the division and start closing the eight-point gap to the play-off places.
Williams said: ‘I think if we win the games it makes up ground as well.
‘The boys have the right mentality to go on and do well.
‘When you play teams in the top half and in the top six you want to beat them.
‘We want to be in that position as well.
‘I think we’ll step up for them games and that’s when hopefully we’ll start to go on a run.
‘Personally, I know I do. (step up a level)
‘I know most of the boys do in the team as well.
‘We’re all looking for the same, that’s what the boys will do.’
A daunting run of fixtures for Jackett’s side begins with Oxford visiting Fratton Park on Saturday.
They are unbeaten in 11 matches and sit fifth in the table – just five points off leaders Ipswich.
Williams knows the U’s well having spent a season on loan at the Kassam Stadium in the 2013-14 season.
And it’s a time he looks back on fondly.
‘I loved it there and I have nothing but good memories,’ Williams added.
‘We were top of the league in January, I think it was when I was there and I said ‘I’d eat my own hand if we don’t make the play-offs’.
‘But we ended up in the bottom half.
‘I loved it there all the people and the staff were great.’