Stoke head to Blackburn tomorrow in ninth spot and knowing victory will nudge them above Liverpool for at least 24 hours.
"Because Pompey had a bad start, people expected Stoke to just turn up and roll them over," he told The Sentinel.
"That's the complacency that can cause problems. That's second-season scenario. It's a weakness clubs can drop into and it's a banana skin waiting for you.
"Supporters will always have their say, and rightly so if they pay to watch games. What frustrates me is that some think it will be a stroll in the park, but Portsmouth have won the FA Cup, been in the Premier League five or six years and still have good players. But there are no gimmies in this league. Just ask David Moyes at Everton.
"As soon as we get to 40 points we'll look at it, but at the moment any talk about Europe is absolutely ridiculous.
"It's a tough, tough league and we've only had one season here.
"You can't stop expectation and people wanting more and more, but we have to keep our feet on the ground and keep battling to make players understand where we are."