Kenny Jackett bemoaned a rare off day for Pompey as they fell to a 1-0 defeat to Blackpool at Fratton Park.
The hosts failed to register a single shot during a first half that was sorely lacking in entertainment from both sides.
There was a vast improvement after the interval, although it was the Tangerines who secured the points when debutant Chris Long fired home.
And although Jackett was more pleased with their second half display, he knows that Pompey were well below par.
The Blues boss said: “We couldn’t get our ball players going in the first half and didn’t create anything – it was a bit of a non-event.
“There were one or two scares at both ends, but no clear-cut chances and as the home side, it’s up to us to set the tempo and take the initiative.
“We did get going after the break and I always felt confident that we could lift ourselves because it’s happened to us on previous occasions.
"There was just a sense of frustration that we couldn’t be as clinical in the opposition box because we certainly got the ball in there enough during the second half."
“The vast majority of play was from us and the game was taking place almost entirely in Blackpool’s half of the pitch.
“But we couldn’t find that extra half a yard to get away from what I have to say is a very good defence.
“It looked like a goal was coming, only for them to convert one of their minimal opportunities from a decent finish.
“There was just a sense of frustration that we couldn’t be as clinical in the opposition box because we certainly got the ball in there enough during the second half.
“We have to look at what we did and didn’t do on this occasion, as well as what we need to do in the future to be the team we want to be.
“You always have to show your character in professional football, so we have to be fit and ready to go to Oxford next week.”
Pompey looked to be missing Ben Thompson, who was recalled from his loan spell by Millwall earlier in the week.
Jackett said: “Gareth Evans played very well when he was used in that position earlier in the week and we tried to keep that continuity.
“But we did look lacking in midfield for a large part of the game and we can talk about scoring goals, but we also weren’t sharp enough on second balls and didn’t get enough tackles in.”