Chris Morgan has tipped Pompey for an instant return to League One next season – if they can keep their squad together.
The Sheffield United caretaker boss saw his promotion-chasing side consigned to the play-offs after the 3-0 defeat.
But Morgan believes Pompey can prosper in League Two.
He said: ‘If they can keep Guy Whittingham and Andy Awford in charge – two really good Pompey people – there is a good set of players with experience and some good youngsters, so there is no reason why they cannot come straight back up.
‘League Two will be a tough league but if Portsmouth keep that group of players together, they will do well.’
Morgan’s side were put to the sword in the first half and were then kept at arm’s length after the break.
And the Blades boss questioned his side’s desire as Pompey ran out comfortable winners.
He said: ‘I thought Portsmouth were excellent in the first half.
‘The way they moved the ball, the little one-twos and passages of play were good but above all of that, their will and their desire to get a result was better than ours.
‘For me as manager, that’s not good enough.
‘The occasion wasn’t a factor in us getting beaten.
‘But it helped the Portsmouth players, being on a high.
‘I’ve played at Fratton Park many times and the crowd is always fantastic. They always get behind the team and credit to them because they have done it all season.
‘They have had a tough couple of seasons but they have backed Guy, the club and the players and that’s what you want.’
Asked why former Blues striker Dave Kitson did not emerge after half-time, Morgan said: ‘It was a tactical switch to take Kits off. We’ve had two really tough games and he has been excellent but we wanted to try to play in a different way.’
– STEVE WILSON