Michael Doyle admitted Pompey have been dealt a ‘reality check’ as frustrations boiled over at Barnet.
And the Blues captain feels his team have to focus on the play-offs after a hugely-disappointing 1-0 defeat at The Hive last night.
It’s a big reality check for us. At the minute we have to think about cementing a play-off spotMichael Doyle
Doyle was involved in a post-match flashpoint with supporters as he apologised for the loss.
The 34-year-old acknowledged the 1,330 who made trip to north London – more than half of the 2,557 crowd – a gesture many appreciated.
But he faced flak from other supporters as tempers became frayed.
Doyle accepted one win from seven games and some disappointing recent form were the reasons for that.
He said: ‘It’s frustrating and you can see it there with the fans. It’s frustration from them because they’ve seen us at the start of the season and it’s not going the way they want it to go.
‘Unfortunately, we’re going through a tough patch.
‘We’re talking about getting promotion but now it’s about staying in the play-offs.
‘It’s a big reality check for us.
‘At the minute we have to think about cementing a play-off spot.
‘That’s the most important thing for us now.
‘We’re not giving up now. It’s just a reality check.
‘We’re frustrated. We’re all hurting.
‘That’s why I made a point of going to them.
‘The one thing I can say is we have a good group of players there. We’re not going out and playing like that on purpose.
‘We are well backed and all we can do is apologise as players.’
Doyle confirmed he was subjected to some abuse from elements of the away following.
That came when he approached the Pompey fans after the full-time whistle.
But the skipper had no regrets about the move as he called for the Blues to show their resolve in a testing period.
Doyle said: ‘The fans are frustrated and there were a few signs.
‘There were a few fans who wanted me to come over and there were a few obscenities.
‘It’s easy to walk away but listen, I’ve been around long enough.
‘I appreciate fans more than anyone.
‘I appreciate the time, the effort and the money they’ve spent to come here.
‘But I am man enough to go over to any fan and apologise.
‘I wanted to say: “Look, we understand”.
‘I can assure them we’re as frustrated as anybody.
‘Obviously, we’re being questioned at the moment.
‘Results like this aren’t going to do us any favours.
‘We have to man up now. We have to man up on and off the pitch.
‘If fans are frustrated we have to give them time. You have to do that.
‘It’s backs to the walls time now. That’s the way it is.’