Richie Barker admitted ‘pride’ in his players after they rallied triumphantly to his public criticism of them.
Jake Jervis’ 48th-minute goal gave Pompey a deserved 1-0 victory over Accrington Stanley in League Two last night.
It was a welcome reaction to Saturday’s 5-1 humiliation at Scunthorpe – which attracted some stinging words from the Blues boss.
Barker made five changes to the side that started at Glanford Park, including a full debut for new loanee striker Michael Drennan.
And he was delighted with the players’ response in the must-win fixture.
He said: ‘It was the response I asked for and the response I wanted from everybody – from all the players, all the staff, all the fans, everybody at the football club. I was happy to say what I said at the weekend and I am equally happy to come out now and praise all the players and say how proud of them I am.
‘I was pleased with the way they started both halves – which was important because we have not started very well – their desire to keep a clean sheet and their ability on Monday to take information on board for something we were trying to do.
‘Having turned up on a Monday morning it was mentally tough for everybody.
‘The perfect response was always going to be a win but the even better response, if you like, was a clean sheet and a real desire and work ethic. I think everybody saw that.’
– NEIL ALLEN