Debutant Amine Linganzi insists fired-up Pompey ‘put their heart’ into achieving a Brisbane Road triumph.
The Frenchman was surprisingly named in Paul Cook’s line-up for Saturday’s trip to Leyton Orient.
Everyone was pressuring, when losing the ball everyone was on them, I was impressedAmine Linganzi
Replacing Danny Rose to partner Michael Doyle in the Blues’ engine room, the midfielder had previously started only in cup competitions since his summer arrival.
Yet he took his League Two opportunity to produce a powerful display, driving Pompey towards a 1-0 victory courtesy of Christian Burgess’ second-half header.
Linganzi remains on a month-to-month contract at Fratton Park as he seeks to convince Cook he is worthy of a long-term deal following a successful pre-season trial.
And the Congo international was delighted to mark his full league debut for the club with a valuable victory.
He said: ‘The manager told me to work hard, they believe in my capacity and I tried to be a physical presence in the air and on the ground.
‘I enjoyed it. My philosophy is to play the right way, using the ball on the ground, this is my identity and I am happy to play in this team.
‘It was really hard, we put our heart into it, that was the difference with everything we have done this year.
‘Everyone was pressuring, when losing the ball everyone was on them, I was impressed.
‘We missed a couple of chances, me included, and could have won two or three nil easy.
‘We controlled the game very well, we just need to be better when winning at keeping the ball so the opposition have to chase the ball going forward.
‘Coming into the game, we knew we couldn’t lose three matches on the run, especially when everyone knows our ability, so that win was important.’
Linganzi should have marked his Blues league bow with a goal, yet was left to reflect on the one that got away.
Gary Roberts’ ninth-minute corner from the right picked out the midfielder unmarked and five-yards out.
However, he failed to get a clean header on the delivery, the ball skimming away for a goal kick when, in truth, he should have netted.
And it wouldn’t be until the 57th minute before Cook’s side finally did get their breakthrough, when Burgess headed home Carl Baker’s corner.
Linganzi added: ‘To be fair, it was a bit windy and the ball was so high in the air. I wanted to smash it but missed it, that’s football.
‘The most important thing was to win the game, so I’m happy.’
– NEIL ALLEN