Danny Cowley refused to let a moment of controversy mask a poor Pompey performance against MK Dons at Fratton Park.
He was adamant that a disallowed goal from Josh Koroma in the second half should have been allowed to stand.
That would have cancelled out Bradley Johnson’s header for the visitors, but instead they doubled their lead through Jack Tucker.
And Cowley was annoyed by some poor defending that allowed the struggling Dons to depart the south coast with all three points.
The Blues boss said: “We conceded two disappointing goals from set-pieces – both of them from short corners – and when that happens, you tend not to win football matches.
“I thought we had a good start – probably the best we’ve had at home this season. Then they scored with their first attack.
“That’s happened too many times for us, but we got momentum back, only for two big moments to go against us.
"I don’t want to use that as an excuse because we’ve conceded soft goals and the whole performance gets judged on that."
“The assistant referee has got it wrong on both occasions, with Josh given offside when he was clearly on in the first half.
“For the second one he was onside regardless and the flag shouldn’t have gone up, but then their defender plays the ball, so it doesn’t matter.
“The referee has apologised afterwards because he’s blown his whistle too early and couldn’t give the goal after that.
“But I don’t want to use that as an excuse because we’ve conceded soft goals and the whole performance gets judged on that.
“We’re all hurt by the reaction, but we understand it because this is a big club with big expectations. It’s frustrating for us.
“That’s our first loss here since January, but we haven’t won enough games in the league and that’s where it stems from.
“The players are down and I don’t believe in kicking people when they’re down, so we’ll draw breath and pick the bones out if it next week.
“There’s character in the dressing room and we believe in the work we’ll do, so we’re confident we’ll find the solutions.”