Guy Whittingham has pledged to put the character back into lacklustre Pompey.
After 14 games without a win in all competitions, the Blues are limping towards relegation to League Two.
The slow death continues to be painful viewing for the Fratton faithful who, regardless, maintain their support home and away.
In the meantime, for Whittingham the hunt is on to bring new blood to the club – specifically players with character.
With Brian Howard, Jon Harley, Mustapha Dumbuya and Lee Williamson told they have to leave, spaces are opening up in his squad.
James Keene is a player he feels will add energy and enthusiasm to his side – just as fellow newcomer David Connolly showed against Walsall.
They are attributes Whittingham is looking for as he jettisons the high earners with one eye on next season.
And the caretaker boss has warned only those players with true character need apply.
He said: ‘James Keene is the type of character we need here and knows what the club is about.
‘We need people who are going to run around and get stuck in, giving everything.
‘David Connolly is another like that and he showed it against Walsall on his full debut.
‘I want to make sure players want to be here and really want to win games, giving their everything in the matches.
‘I am not saying those who have recently left have not done that but I want different characters, the type of people the fans will appreciate.
‘I’m not just saying it because I have been here as a player and a coach but it is what these fans expect.
‘Tackle, head the ball, chase it, put in blocks, give everything to the cause. That’s all I ask and the fans ask.’
Whittingham is hoping to add another loan to his squad in time for Notts County.
And he believes Pompey are still an attractive proposition for players.
He added: ‘I spoke to someone the other day who is keen to come.
‘He didn’t want a team in mid-table with not much to play for. There’s a challenge here.
‘He wants to go somewhere for a purpose.
‘There are some characters out there and that is what we have got to find.’