The acting boss admitted that everyone was shellshocked after surrendering a three-goal lead from the first half and knows that the players must show the character to overcome their disappointment and concentrate on getting back among the Premiership points when Pompey travel to the Lane.
"The team will be self-critical or else they are the wrong type of players," reasoned David. "The most important thing is that we bounce back from it - it will be a real test.
"Whatever it may be, a period of hours or days, the players must reflect on their best moments as footballers and try and put this one to the back of their minds.
"They have to do it, because if they dwell on that it will be bad for them and bad for the team. They have to have a very positive mind, but we must also be aware of the many things we didn't do right."
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David Pleat insists the players must be critical of themselves following the defeat to Manchester City before focusing their minds towards Saturday's game against Portsmouth.