Paul Robinson believes Pompey’s players need to take more responsibility for their plight.
And he told the Fratton faithful they were right to vent their anger at their club’s increasingly desperate position.
Robinson gave a blunt assessment of what is missing from his side after the 2-1 loss to Southend.
He is adamant there is not enough character being shown by Pompey.
Robinson said: ‘Ultimately we’re the ones who cross the line, we’re the ones who go out on the pitch and have to make it happen.
‘When it doesn’t we’re the ones at fault.
‘Fair play to the manager saying he’s responsible. He’s protecting us.
‘But I feel we do need to show more character. I feel we haven’t been tough enough.
‘We started the game well and played well before they got a goal against the run of play.
‘That can happen, but what was disappointing was the way it rocked us. That’s the time you have to stay mentally strong, tough as a group, believe in what we’re doing.
Robinson was annoyed that a promising opening ebbed away from Pompey after Ryan Leonard cancelled out Adam Webster’s opener.
He said: ‘I think that perhaps was the disappointing thing and is where we need to learn as a team.
‘I don’t think you see players not trying. I think you see players putting in a shift.
‘Things can happen. You can make a mistake or they can get a goal out of nothing.
‘That can happen in football. It’s not what happened, it’s how we reacted to it. I don’t think we found the rhythm we started with after that point.
‘As a team sometimes, where you are emotionally involved in it, it’s hard not to take the disappointments too hard and maintain your focus.
‘That’s what I’m getting at.
‘There’s enough leaders and honest characters on the pitch.
‘Maybe it’s about not getting caught in the emotion of it and staying focused. But we’re not getting the details right and that is costing us games. Until we put that right we won’t win games.
‘The training has been good and we’re putting the work in.
‘You feel like you are turning the corner, you get a ray of optimism and then you get a result like Saturday which knocks you back. That’s what is hard to take about it.
‘We have to work hard and be determined to put that right.’
Pompey fans booed on the final whistle and sang ‘you don’t know what you’re doing’ when Andy Barcham was replaced by Ryan Taylor in the second half.
Robinson had no complaint with the crowd voicing their disapproval.
He said: ‘It’s not ideal but ultimately it’s down to the 11 on the pitch to sort. We have to lift the fans and give them plenty to cheer about.
‘We have to give them the full effort and commitment they desire.
‘We have turn that into results.
‘Until we do that we are under no illusions the fans are going to be disgruntled. They are well within their rights to voice that.
‘We want to be a football club pulling in the right direction.
‘Until we put results on the board that is going to be difficult.’