Paul Cook dismissed formations as a factor in their downfall against Leyton Orient.
Cook went with two strikers against Leyton Orient as Pompey fell to a disappointing 1-0 defeat.
Michael Smith was used up front and was supported by Marc McNulty.
The Blues failed to carve out much in the way of opportunities, however, as Cook continued with the formation employed at Morecambe.
He returned to his preferred 4-2-3-1 approach as he made substitutions in the second half.
Cook downplayed the significance of formations, however, pointing to the lack of energy in Pompey’s play as the more significant factor in defeat.
He said: ‘Formations are irrelevant.
‘We were playing nigh on two up front. We couldn’t create a chance.
‘People can be here all night talking about 4-2-3-1s and that.
‘Fans can look at formations too much.
‘We lacked oomph. It doesn’t matter how you play when you lack oomph.’
Although the statistics show Pompey had 10 shots to Orient’s nine, the clear chances went to the visitors.
Aside from Jobi McAnuff’s goal, Jay Simpson had two good second-half chances with player manager Kevin Nolan also wasting a decent opportunity.
Cook was honest enough to admit the scoreline could have been worse for his team.
But he highlighted his players have delivered for him this season on the majority of occasions.
Cook said: ‘We huffed and puffed and sometimes, in our intention to get back into the game and win it, we gave chance after chance away.
‘They had clear-cut chances and it could have been worse. We take that on board.
‘It was flat. It wasn’t a case of things not going our way, we didn’t make it happen.
‘Football’s tough. We were flat, second best all over the pitch.
‘We never had any continuity and that is difficult to take.
‘It would be easy for me to criticise. We were second best.
‘It wasn’t a case of it not going for us. There was never a point where we made it happen.
‘We have to come back stronger now.
‘We huffed and puffed. We never got going or looked a threat.
‘But we lick our wounds and move on.
‘The players have done well this season. We had the plaudits last week, this time rightly not.
‘I have to manage the disappointment. We have to come back stronger.’
– JORDAN CROSS