Cobblers boss Keith Curle rued a lack of ruthlessness as he reflected on Tuesday night’s 4-0 defeat at Fratton Park.
“We had the two best chances in the first half but we need to be more clinical,” he said.
“Ryan Watson is disappointed he didn’t hit the target but when we get into those areas at the very least we need to work the goalkeeper.
“Goals change games and Portsmouth showed their quality when the game expanded in the second half.
“We need to defend better and when we create opportunities like we did in the first half tonight we need to be more ruthless.
“These are the difficult times and the challenges we face but the performance in the first half was a positive, we gave ourselves a good platform and a foundation whilst also looking a threat.
“We are trying to build an identity in what is a very difficult division and I think the fans understand where we are at and what we are about.”