Andy Awford praised his men for passing the biggest test of his managerial tenure today.
Pompey all but secured their place in the Football League with a 3-2 win over Bristol Rovers.
The Blues were twice pegged back in the first half by a Rovers side fighting for their lives in League Two.
But sub Wes Fogden made the difference with the winner with 20 minutes left.
Awford saluted the response of his men to the challenge Rovers provided.
He said: ‘I was really pleased with the character of the players today.
‘That’s the first real big test we’ve had since I came in.
‘We had to stand up and be counted - and the players did that for me.
‘Defensively it was a little bit frustrating, and I made my point to the players on that.
‘It was bit loose in the first half. But I have to give credit to Bristol Rovers for that as well.
‘But we took it to them in the second half and I am delighted with them. They were magnificent.’