Kenny Jackett knows there is work to be done for Pompey to get their promotion challenge back on track.
His side have lost half of their past 10 League One fixtures, leaving them seven points adrift of Hull in second spot.
With 15 matches remaining in the space of just nine weeks, however, there is still time to close that gap.
But Jackett knows that Pompey have to start improving quickly if they are to realise their lofty ambitions.
The Blues boss said: “Games are always vital, but particularly on the run we’re on where we’ve been so spasmodic in picking up points.
“If you want to be up at the top and competing with those sides, then you need to be winning games on a regular basis.
“We are capable of putting that run together and have to find the right equation in ourselves to close that gap.
"Games are always vital, but particularly on the run we’re on where we’ve been so spasmodic in picking up points."
“We’re hurting at the moment and the loss at Doncaster on Tuesday was a tough one to take. We weren’t great, but it was still close and I thought we’d got a point at the end.
“There are fine margins and we do have to find some form going forwards. We want to create and score goals.
“We need to keep that in mind and work hard to solve that problem, while keeping our morale and attitude.
“The players are determined to do well and certainly don’t enjoy dropping points. We’re not far away, but have to be honest and say we haven’t got it right of late.”
Pompey are on the road again this weekend, visiting a Northampton outfit who beat Plymouth a few days ago to climb off the foot of the table.
Jackett said: “We’ve analysed them and they’ve been quite fluid in terms of the systems played and had an excellent result on Tuesday.
“They’ll obviously be looking to back that up, but we have to concentrate on ourselves and make sure get our performance right.”
Pompey could be boosted by the return from injury of right-back James Bolton and midfielder Michael Jacobs.
Jackett said: “Both of them will have fitness tests. They’re excellent pros and we hope they can be available for this run of games ahead.”