Trevor Carson expected a few tempers to flare and some home truths to be told among the players.
The Blues goalkeeper was waiting for Pompey’s version of Fight Club to break out after another loss on home turf against Newport on Saturday.
Instead, there was a state of shell-shocked silence in the home dressing room at their latest Fratton Park humbling.
And the Northern Irishman believes the current Pompey team is simply too nice and needs to find its nasty side – quickly.
Carson said: ‘Afterwards there was just silence, really.
‘I think it’s too nice a dressing room.
‘There are no black eyes, no punches being thrown and maybe that’s what we need at times.
‘We are a quiet team in general and you can tell that on the pitch.
‘Once the first goal went in, the heads dropped and we crumbled.
‘We don’t seem to have that player on the pitch to grab the lads and say “listen, we don’t concede, we keep it tight and we’ve still got half an hour left to get this back”.
‘We didn’t have anyone grabbing people and making sure we concentrated and stayed in the game.
‘I know we’re quite young at the back. But look at big Sonny (Bradley).
‘I think he is an outstanding player but I think he needs to be louder and shout more.
‘I love to see big centre-backs being like that, and if he grabbed me, it would certainly make me think “hold on a minute” just because of the size of him.
‘It is in some players and it’s just about getting it out of them.
‘There are big boys that you wouldn’t want to mess with but they need to drag a few people around.
‘A few need to come out of their shells – we all do.
‘We seem to be scared to fall out with each other, which is nonsense.
‘We shouldn’t take it personally. We are all striving to get three points, so if someone has a go at you, you take it on the chin.
‘We are in League Two and we need to roll our sleeves up.’
While Carson was refreshingly honest with his appraisal, he believes the team needs a shift in mentality and hinted that some players have become affected by the expectation of the home crowd at Fratton Park.
He said: ‘It’s easy to say that if Pat’s (Agyemang) chance goes in, it’s a different game. But it seems that if we don’t get those little breaks, we crumble.
‘Some days it is not going to be your day, but you still dig in and make sure you get at least a point.
‘We don’t seem to have that mentality as a team.
‘The crowd is great here but when they get frustrated, it seems to affect the lads a lot. But you’ve got to be bigger men than that.
‘Why can we not be leaders?
‘There are some big, strong lads and it’s in a lot of them.
‘But we need to get it out.
‘Look where we are in the league and we are in a fight now. We need to get out of this mess we are in.
‘The only way we will do that is by rolling our sleeves up and giving it a go.’
Carson, who played under new manager Richie Barker at Bury, added: ‘Hopefully with the manager coming in, he is a strong personality and that will rub off on the lads.’