Cobblers boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink says he is looking for progress as he previews Saturday’s Checkatrade Trophy second round tie at Fratton Park, KO 12.30pm.
“Portsmouth are doing extremely well but we are relishing the test,” he said.
“We want to get through and it’s another game for us to try and improve.
“I was very happy with the performance last Saturday, not the result but I look at performances and if we play like that week in, week out we will win more matches than we lose.
“I do understand the frustration of the fans that we are not scoring the goals we would like, we want to entertain but at the same time we don’t want to be too open.
“This is only the second year we are in League 1, it’s very competitive and the margins are very small. We want the club to grow but we need to establish ourselves as a League 1 club first.
“Expectations are high and I don’t mind that but we have to be realistic. I’m happy that we have a club and fans that are ambitious but to improve we need the fans with us.
“When the fans are with us they get so much more out of the players, they are our 12th man and that’s what we want.”