It has felt like an absolute age since Pompey eased to victory against Southend at the beginning of the month.
But, after last week’s scheduled clash with Fleetwood was postponed, they finally return to League One action with a trip to Rochdale on Saturday.
Their opponents are two points worse off in the current standings, but have played three more matches.
And with a busy spell between now and the turn of the year, Kenny Jackett knows it is an important time to pick up points.
The Blues boss said: “It’s been two-and-a-half weeks since our last league game, which is a long time, but now we’ve got a couple of them coming quickly.
“This competition is your bread and butter – although we always want to get through in the cups – so it has been strange.
"It’s been two-and-a-half weeks since our last league game, which is a long time."
“It’s unusual to have that kind of wait, but the time has gone now and the games are upon us. We’re looking forward to it.
“We are playing a slight bit of catch-up and so it’s an important time for us that could define our season.
“You want to go into the second half of the campaign in a positive frame of mind – playing well, getting results and looking to close the gap.
“Nothing beats hard work and we’ve been clawing away to build on some pretty good form and produce winning performances.”
Rochdale beat Wrexham in an FA Cup replay earlier in the week, but have lost their past four league fixtures.
Jackett said: “They’re a very good footballing side and we always have some competitive matches against them.
“It was a hard-earned win at their place in the league last season and we’ll have to be at our best to get anything on Saturday.”