Danny Cowley insists that Pompey’s dream of playing Championship football next season is not over.
A run of four matches without a win has seen the side drop out of the top six with just a quartet of fixtures remaining.
However, ahead of Saturday’s clash with struggling Bristol Rovers at Fratton Park, the gap is only a single point.
And Cowley believes his troops can rediscover their form during a crucial couple of weeks for the club.
The Blues boss said: “We were all desperately disappointed with the outcome of the match at Swindon on Tuesday.
“It’s bad enough when you let yourselves down, but even worse when it’s the supporters who feel so much for the club.
“We have to collectively burden that responsibility and when you wake up on the Wednesday, it’s about moving forward with enthusiasm.
“If you can work out the ‘whys’ then hopefully you can make sure that it doesn’t happen again. We feel that we’ve made some progress.
"It’s bad enough when you let yourselves down, but even worse when it’s the supporters who feel so much for the club."
“The players have the best job in the world because they get to do something they love every single day – and get paid to do so.
“They’re an honest, hard-working group and to say otherwise is unfair, but of course you can criticise us for not managing aspects of the game.
“We’re continually trying to develop our competency in order to approach these final four fixtures of the season.
“There’s so much to play for and people might think we have a mountain to climb, but I’ve spent my whole life climbing them. I’m excited for the challenge.”
Bristol Rovers are bottom of the table and their relegation could be sealed this weekend, even if they leave the south coast with all three points.
Cowley said: “Both teams have got to win and the reality is that it’s now very difficult for them to stay in the division.
“But they’re a really good club and I loved seeing their journey back up from the National League with successive promotions.
“It’s been a tough season with three managers and that never bodes well, although Joey Barton is an incredible competitor.”