Pompey needed a reaction after a couple of poor performances resulted in back-to-back League One defeats.
And there was certainly an improved display from Danny Cowley’s side in their Boxing Day contest at Exeter.
The fact that Grecians keeper Jamal Blackman was named man-of-the-match by the hosts tells its own story.
But Cowley was left frustrated that Pompey could not turn their dominance into any goals as they departed Devon with a solitary point.
The Blues boss said: “In terms of the performance, it was a good one away from home and we had a real control of the game.
“I can’t remember a match when we’ve had so many free-kicks and corners around the opposition area.
“But if we’re being honest with ourselves, then we have to be more clinical – particularly in the first half when we had so many good opportunities.
"In terms of the performance, it was a good one away from home and we had a real control of the game."
“We defended well as a group and gave Exeter very little in terms of moments in our box, but of course we’re disappointed not to win.
“We know what we have to do – we need to stay really determined and focused, keep training hard and believe in ourselves. If we do that then I’m sure we’ll find a way.”
Pompey’s squad has been left depleted by a sickness bug that has ripped through the camp in recent days.
Cowley said: “There was heavy illness all week and have had to change the team a number of times, with Joe Morrell not training until yesterday.
“Jay Mingi and Dane Scarlett didn’t even make the coach because they’ve had a tonsilitis-like infection.
“Connor Ogilvie was named on the bench, but didn’t warm up because he had deteriorated overnight.
“There were a lot that also played with it and so it definitely had an impact on the team that we picked.
“On a positive note, Zak Swanson did well when he came on after very little training. We definitely couldn’t use him safely from the start, but he made a real impact as a substitute.”