Gary Waddock bemoaned Pompey’s defensive mistakes as they worryingly buckled in the absence of Paul Robinson.
The former Millwall man has been in outstanding form for the Blues since his arrival on the eve of their League Two campaign.
His importance to the side was glaringly obvious last night during a disappointing 2-2 draw with relegation-threatened Cheltenham.
With Robinson sidelined by the right cheekbone he fractured against Luton Town, Adam Webster was asked to fill in, while Johnny Ertl was named on the bench. Ben Chorley again failed to make the squad.
Yet the Blues’ defence went on to concede two sloppy goals against the Robins, spoiling a recent return of six clean sheets in 10 fixtures.
For the first, Eliot Richards scored 93 seconds after Matt Tubbs had given the hosts the lead, following a defensive mix-up in the build-up.
I thought the two goals we conceded were poor, whereas in the batch of games we’ve had we have been really solid and limited the opposition to any kind of chances.Gary Waddock
Then Will Packwood netted with a free header from Matt Richards’ deep free-kick before Ryan Taylor equalised.
And the Blues’ assistant manager afterwards revealed his disappointment, while admitting he will analyse the mistakes in greater depth when he sees the video.
Waddock said: ‘You have to give Cheltenham credit for the way they set up and their game plan.
‘Obviously it worked Friday night in a 1-1 draw with Newport and they brought it here and it ended up a very frustrating evening for us. I thought the two goals we conceded were poor, whereas in the batch of games we’ve had, we’ve been really solid and limited the opposition to any kind of chances.
‘Last night we should have dealt better with both of them.
‘The first goal was a poor one to concede, so quickly after going ahead.
‘That gives them a lift and something to hang on to.
‘I don’t want to go into any great detail on that.
‘I’d like to go through it again in my own time and pick the bones out of it and then make a decision on that.
‘But as I saw it, it was a poor goal to concede. We should have dealt with it better – then it ends up in the back of the net.
‘For the second, we should have dealt with it better from the free-kick.
‘Again I would like to have a look at it, rewind it, play it, rewind it, but both the goals we should have dealt with better.
‘It is a point gained but we were looking to win the game.’
Meanwhile, for Webster it was a first start since the 2-1 home defeat to Southend – 11 games earlier.
As for Chorley, he has now been absent from the last two squads having served a one-match suspension.
Waddock said: ‘The manager didn’t pick Ben for this particular squad and that will change game-to-game.
‘It was just a case of the manager decided to put Adam in. It’s always hard coming into the side and getting up to the speed of things, if he has a run of games he will get up to speed but that’s the manager’s choice.
‘Robbo comes out of the side and it is an opportunity for another player to go in there.
‘During the course of the game we changed it around a bit, putting a few more attack-minded players on to the pitch but were unable to break Cheltenham down.’