Guy Whittingham bemoaned a tale of two halves as Pompey’s winless run continued.
The Blues went down to a 3-2 loss at home to Colchester to make it 17 games without a victory.
Pompey were 3-1 down at the break and it could easily have been worse as Colchester racked up the chances.
The home side rallied after the interval and made a fist of the game.
A lovely move saw James Keene add to Jed Wallace’s first-half effort, but it was not enough to get a return.
Whittingham knows his team won’t end their losing run if they keep defending like they did.
He said: ‘We didn’t compete first half.
‘You have to compete. It’s no good half going for balls.
‘We gave it everything second half.
‘It was great to see James Keene be rewarded for all the work he puts in.
‘But it’s no good turning up and only playing for one half.’