Boss says teams will raise their game against Blues
Guy Whittingham believes Pompey have to learn to deal with the pressure of being a big fish in the League Two pond.
The Blues looked to be heading for a first away win of the season at Mansfield.
Andy Barcham cancelled out Ben Hutchinson’s superb opener before David Connolly fired the visitors ahead before the break.
But Pompey were unable to hold on for victory, with Lindon Meikle taking advantage of a defensive mix-up to level.
And Whititngham feels that sides will always put in a good performance when they come up against his troops.
The Blues boss said: “The first goal gave them a lift – we’re a scalp in this league and teams are going to be up for it.
“They are going to raise their game when they come up against us and we have to deal with that pressure.
“People were dejected in the dressing room afterwards because we weren’t able to keep hold of the lead.
“But as a group, we’re constantly learning and we said it would take time before we reach our best.”
Despite not being able to hold on for victory, Whittingham was happy with aspects of Pompey’s play.
He said: “I think we played some decent stuff in the first half and should have got in front before they did.
“But I was pleased with how we got back into the game and took the chances that we did.
“Mansfield put the ball in the box at every opportunity, but we dealt with it really well.
“They put us under a lot of pressure and our defending from set-plays was magnificent.”
Whittingham also had words of praise for Barcham, who set up Connolly’s goal as well as scoring himself.
He said: “Andy’s an exciting player. We’re pleased we were able to get him and are hopeful he will take more chances.”