George Thorne sampled the intensity of derby day and told Pompey fans: You made the difference.
Thorne thanked the Fratton faithful for their passionate backing as their team fought back to rescue a draw with deadly rivals Southampton.
The 18-year-old felt it was the Blues’ following which was key as they took on the Championship leaders.
Thorne was blown away by the atmosphere of the south coast showdown as his team took on their enemies from along the coast.
He admitted he was taken aback by the ferocious nature of the derby.
Thorne played a big part in Pompey’s leveller, nodding David Norris’ corner into the path of Joel Ward.
The on-loan West Brom man pinpointed the home crowd’s backing as a key factor in making a difference for his team.
Thorne said: ‘I heard a lot about the game leading up to it.
‘I was told it was going to be spicy, and now I can see the strength of feeling between our fans and theirs.
‘The local boys knew about it but I’m not from around here, so it surprised me a bit.
‘There were flares going off and the atmosphere was amazing.
‘That is obviously what makes this game special.
‘The fans gave us the extra yard that we needed.
‘We got a point from it and the equaliser, and gave the fans something to cheer about. We’ll see what happens at their place now.’
Thorne admitted the game was far from pretty as a spectacle as Pompey struggled to get their passing going for long periods.
Michael Appleton’s team were not found wanting for commitment, but failed to offer enough attacking threat for much of the game.
That looked as if it was going to be costly, until Joel Ward bravely cancelled out Rickie Lambert’s opener with six minutes left.
Thorne knew the Blues were not good enough in possession but was impressed with the resolve they showed to get back into the game.
He feels the result keeps the momentum going for his team as they head into the Christmas period unbeaten in four.
Thorne said: ‘It was quite difficult to get it down and play.
‘Derbies are often fast and furious and full of passion – that was exactly what this one was like.
‘No-one wants to lose on derby day.
‘I didn’t get on the ball as much as I would have liked to.
‘I’m a ball player but this game was more of a scrap and about picking up second balls and the other side of the game.
‘Not every game is going to be an attractive match.
‘Ultimately it was a hard-working team performance which won us a point from the game.
‘We coped quite well I thought against a good team.
‘They had numbers in the middle of the park and had quality.
‘We’re four unbeaten now and can push on from here
‘The manager was pleased we showed the spirit to come from behind in a derby.
‘It shows we have heart.
‘Michael Appleton has come in and we’ve come on leaps and bounds.
‘We’re four unbeaten and we can push up the table.’