Guy Whittingham has dismissed the notion that tomorrow’s showdown is ‘do or die’ for Pompey.
The second-from-bottom Blues host basement boys Hartlepool, who have mustered just 13 points all season.
Some have suggested any shred of hope for survival will be gone if Pompey fail to win.
But the caretaker boss remains positive the club’s destiny will not be settled by this one fixture.
Whittingham said: ‘We want to go and win the game for the pure reason that we want to get some momentum going.
‘But if we don’t, it won’t be the be-all and end-all because there are another 19 games after that.
‘Of course it’s a key game but so is the next one after that.
‘We know we need a catalyst from somewhere.
‘People will be saying “Hartlepool are bottom of the league” and all that but believe me, they play some good football.
‘Football is one game at a time but you know what can happen when you win one game.
‘Confidence is one of the biggest assets for any team or any footballer. One win can do it.’
Whittingham is also keen to deflect the pressure away from what looks set to be a young side with a clutch of debutants.
The Blues boss said: ‘We’ve got to make it that they are just preparing for another game.
‘So we have been trying to make it as normal as possible this week in training.’