Richie Barker is eyeing Pompey’s first win in 10 to spark a resurgence in fortunes.
Romain Padovani netted the decisive goal in the 44th minute against Dagenham & Redbridge this afternoon, when he headed home Ricky Holmes’ corner.
It capped an excellent first-half display from the much-changed Blues, in which Padovani was given a rare start in a five-man midfield.
The tactical decision by Barker worked, though, as his side ran out 1-0 winners in a result he is hoping can begin a steady climb up the table.
He said: ‘It’s a bit of a relief. Obviously, pleasing to do it here, great to do it here on Boxing Day in front of a fantastic crowd – and I think it is just what the players needed.
‘They needed a confidence boost and, hopefully, this is the one that might make us turn the corner.
‘I thought in the first half our football was excellent and in the second half they (the players) showed a real desire to make sure they didn’t lose the game.
‘Roman covered some ground, was calm on the ball and did the difficult side which probably is not in his game, to be honest.
‘I’ve just been told he scored the goal, I thought Joe scored it, but I’m pleased for Romain!’