It was during his weekly pre-match press conference that John Mousinho delivered the news Pompey fans had been fearing.
Joe Morrell and Tom McIntyre would both be sidelined for the remainder of the season, with Terry Devlin joining them on the sidelines.
With several other serious injuries to key personnel already this term, Mousinho could be forgiven for wondering what he had done to anger the football gods.
But as the promotion race hots up, he is determined not to allow anyone to feel sorry for themselves about Pompey’s fortunes.
The Blues boss said: “A big part of what we’re trying to build here is the mentality that we don’t make excuses.
“It’s very easy in football – and any walk of life – to pick things apart and wonder how and why things are happening.
“We take it on the chin because it’s the only thing that we can do – there’s no point getting too upset about it.
"A big part of what we’re trying to build here is the mentality that we don’t make excuses."
“Everyone in the sport has to deal with injuries and I’m sure there are a lot of head coaches up and down the country bemoaning the ones in their squad.
“You’ve also got bad luck and refereeing decisions, but we just try to get on with it and only focus on what we can control.
“We’ve built a squad with depth for a reason and the task for us now is to do well with those players who are fit and available.”
Pompey will look to at least maintain their four-point advantage at the League One summit when they visit bottom side Carlisle on Saturday.
Mousinho said: “They’re obviously not in an ideal position, but have still produced some good results this season – such as beating Bolton away.
“I thought they were really good at Fratton Park and we needed a last-minute winner that we probably didn’t deserve.
“We’ve seen strong performances from sides that are down at the wrong end of the table in recent weeks because they’re fighting for their lives.
“Any team is capable of putting a run together in this league, so we’ll go there wary of what a tough test it’s going to be.”