Guy Whittingham praised man-of-the-moment Ryan Bird after he inspired Pompey to victory over Exeter.
The striker was named in the starting line-up and netted twice to take his tally to three goals in two games.
However, there was a nervy finale as the Grecians fought back late on after going 3-0 down.
Pompey eventually saw out six minutes of time added on to win 3-2 – and it was Bird who was ultimately the hero.
Whittingham said: ‘It’s great for Ryan to score his first goals at Fratton Park and I was delighted for him with that second one.
‘We knew he had goals in him and his enthusiasm on the pitch is undoubted.
‘Exeter are a footballing side who play lots of different formations, but they ultimately like to play with the ball on the floor.
‘We picked out a side to do the same and we believe we could beat them – at 3-0 we were doing alright.
‘I think we were all nervous at the end, though!’