Caretaker boss says Blues have to learn
It looked like Pompey had finally managed to turn around their form.
They were leading 1-0 after a super early strike from Andy Barcham and playing against 10 men following the dismissal of Southend substitute Cauley Woodrow.
But then the demons that have haunted the Blues in recent weeks returned.
The visitors rallied to level through Will Atkinson, before Barry Corr stung the Fratton faithful by grabbing the winner moments later.
Andy Awford believes his side showed plenty of grit, but knows they have to stop making the same mistakes.
The caretaker Blues boss said: “It was a great strike from Andy. My concern was that there would be a lack of confidence, but the goal saw that grow.
“If we’d have taken more of the chances we created then we’d have been out of sight.
“But you have to keep your concentration when you’re only winning 1-0 – it’s as simple as that.
“We switched off twice in the space of a few minutes and it has cost us again.
“The players didn’t deserve that. Every single one of them put a shift in and I can’t grumble about any of them.
“But they’ve got to learn. I’m bitterly disappointed that we’ve come away with nothing.
“Credit to Southend because they kept going after they had a man sent off and I thought it was a good game of football to watch.
“There were lots of positives to take, but it still doesn’t take away that feeling when you’re beaten.
“Sometimes when you lose you can hold your hands up and say fair play, but we were well in the game and should have got something from it.”
Awford sprung a surprise with his first team selection, handing a debut to 17-year-old academy product Jack Whatmough in the centre of defence.
He said: “I’ve worked with Jack for long enough to know that he’s a very good player and will get even better.
“To be honest, I’ve been nudging Guy about sticking him in, so it would have been hypocritical if I hadn’t picked him.
“I think highly of him and I thought he did very well – it was a good, solid debut. He’s one to keep an eye on.”