Andy Awford saluted his players’ reaction after Pompey returned to winning ways against Stevenage.
The Blues ran out 3-2 winners at Fratton Park tonight, with Joe Devera the unlikely match-winner in the 79th minute.
Earlier Jed Wallace had cancelled out Dean Wells’ opener, while Miles Storey gave the Blues the lead only for a defensive mistake by Devera to gift Chris Beardsley an equaliser.
But the defender popped up at the other end to net from long range and present Pompey with only a second league win in 10.
Awford said: ‘It is a start for us.
‘It has been a tough couple of days, if I am honest.
‘I asked the players for a reaction and we certainly got it from the players and the supporters and under the lights at Fratton Park it takes some beating.
‘When that third goal went in there was only going to be one team winning that and thankfully we did.
‘We brought a few players back.
‘Craig Westcarr is a good player, he has a little bit of class about him and he worked his absolute socks off.
‘Miles (Storey) is a threat in behind.
‘I said to him I didn’t want him coming towards the ball – and what a finish.’