Pompey’s malaise has been eroding progress since the start of 2019.
And Kenny Jackett is battling to reverse the drop in fortunes amid a backdrop of escalating supporter criticism.
The promotion hopefuls are presently languishing 18th in League One following a stoppage-time defeat at AFC Wimbledon at the weekend.
Irrespective of the finer details of the performance and manner of the loss, that outcome reflects deep-seated Fratton Park concerns which have gone beyond a passing blip.
Pompey have now won three of their Past 16 league and play-off matches, a dismal run stretching back to April 27.
The only teams to have been defeated during that frustrating period are Tranmere, Bolton and Doncaster.
Incidentally, Tranmere and Bolton occupy two of the bottom five positions in League One at present.
It’s an abject run which has applied considerable pressure to Jackett’s Pompey position, certainly from among a disenchanted Fratton faithful.
The Blues kicked off the campaign targeting surpassing last season’s fourth-placed finish, a not unrealistic ambition.
Presently, they are drifting eight points behind the last play-off position, such has been this sustained spell of disappointing results.
Yet the year 2019, overall, has proven alarmingly average in terms of league results.
Since a New Year’s Day 2-1 victory over AFC Wimbledon, the Blues have totalled 48 points from 34 League One matches.
If applied to a table format, that would equate to a low top-10 placing.
Pompey’s 2019 league results consist of 12 wins, 12 draws and 10 losses – a model of consistency, yet not befitting a team possessing aspirations of reaching the Championship.
Remarkably, that underwhelming spell also includes seven-successive league victories.
Throw in the Checkatrade Trophy final – and the eventual tally of eight triumphs signals a joint-club record in all competitions.
Jackett’s men ended last term having failed to win in their last five games, including the play-off semi-finals.
During the 2019-20 campaign so far, it has been three triumphs from 11 League One fixtures.
Now Michael Appleton’s Lincoln visit Fratton Park on Tuesday night.
Jackett – in what has developed into a mediocre 2019 – cannot afford another wasted opportunity for victory.