Ryan Taylor believes a simple pre-match message from Andy Awford helped Pompey rediscover some of their lost confidence.
The Blues striker netted a penalty in the 2-1 win at Newport County in Awford’s first game at the helm.
But while the former Bristol City man impressed, the whole team looked a completely different side to the one that has struggled so badly under Richie Barker in recent weeks.
While Taylor couldn’t explain the transformation, he revealed some of Awford’s methods in attempting to restore the players’ belief.
Taylor said: ‘When a manager comes in, people and players get a lift.
‘I guess it shouldn’t happen like that but it just does.
‘A new man comes in with a few new ideas and it just lifts things.
‘It certainly worked but I don’t exactly know why.
‘Sometimes it’s just little things that can work.
‘Before the game he wrote on the board “winners” and said “I want winners in this dressing room. The new phrase around the place is to be a winner”.
‘It sticks in your head, I guess.
‘Sometimes you just need those little things to help you get a bit of belief back.’
Taylor also admitted it was hard to get out of the rut that Pompey had found themselves in under Barker.
He said: ‘It was hard because results weren’t going for us, so I suppose it was going to be a negative place.
‘It’s easy to say to someone “be confident”.
‘But when things haven’t gone your way, you are not going to be.
‘Now we need to take it on.’