Pompey boss Michael Appleton described Pompey’s 3-1 win against Shrewsbury as his side’s ‘worst performance of the season’.
But Appleton still reserved praise for his players after they ground out a hard-fought win over Graham Turner’s side.
After a disappointing first half, Pompey responded with two quick-fire goals at the start of the second.
Wes Thomas and Izale McLeod gave them a 2-0 lead, before Marvin Morgan halved the deficit on 61 minutes.
The Shrewsbury front man then got himself sent off two minutes later for two bookable offences, handing the initiative back to the Blues.
But despite their numerical advantage, the home side struggled to shrug off their visitors until McLeod’s left-foot volley restored their two-goal cushion four minutes into injury time.
That took the pressure of Pompey, but did little to lighten Appleton’s feelings on the team display at the final whistle.
‘That was probably our worst performance of the season, ‘ said Appleton.
‘And if we perform like that most weeks we’ll lose games.In fact, we would have lost that game five or six weeks ago.
‘But we were good enough and strong enough to make sure we didn’t and we’ve got to ensure there’s a vast improvement on Tuesday.
‘The lads are full of confidence at the minute, but there’s no way I’ll be taking my foot off the pedal.
‘And the players certainly know that after having a word with them.’