Juande Ramos has insisted that his job as Tottenham's manager is not under threat, despite the club's disastrous start to the Premier League. Ramos's side have lost four of their first six matches and are rooted to the bottom of the Premier League table following their worst start in 53 years.
Inevitably, it was former Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe, sold by Ramos in January, who plunged his old boss further into the mire with a first-half penalty, and played a key role in Peter Crouch's goal after the break at Fratton Park.
Not for the first time this season, Spurs look woefully short of confidence and cohesion. The final straw for the 2,000 supporters who had travelled down from North London was Ramos's decision to replace Roman Pavlyuchenko with Darren Bent in the closing stages.
Ramos was adamant he retains the full confidence of chairman Daniel Levy and his board. "Absolutely. We speak regularly and everyone is aware of our delicate position," Ramos said. "Whether I survive is something for the chairman and the board to decide but I'm not hurt (by the fans' abuse). What hurts is not winning matches."
Ramos takes his team to Poland on Thursday with a slender 2-1 lead in the UEFA Cup, and a defeat against Wisla Krakow would increase the pressure on the former Sevilla coach. Ramos admitted: "We are in a complicated situation and nobody seems to help us when we need it."
"Portsmouth scored from a penalty today but in the same kind of incident we were denied a penalty, the same as against Wigan last week. In critical moments we are not getting these decisions.
"We have been playing with two strikers in most games, but we used just one against Newcastle and it worked better. Bent had played every minute of the six previous games and needed a break.
"It is true that when you come here and feel up for winning that it is very disappointing when you lose, but the players know we have another game in another competition on Thursday and we must recover from this very quickly."
Ramos's side were set up in damage-limitation mode with five in midfield against Portsmouth, but they were consequently forced to absorb plenty of pressure, and they cracked in the 33rd minute. Glen Little whipped in a free kick from the right, and Jermaine Jenas rashly stuck out his arm to control the ball.
Referee Mike Dean immediately pointed to the spot, and Defoe stepped up to lash the penalty past Heurelho Gomes. He made a point of keeping his celebration to a minimum as a mark of respect to his former supporters packed behind Gomes's goal.
Portsmouth went further ahead in the 68th minute with a superbly-crafted goal. Defoe turned Michael Dawson on the edge of the area and picked out Armand Traore wide on the left. The on-loan Arsenal youngster drove in a low shot that Gomes could only parry towards Crouch, who rose to head into the empty net from close range.