Dion Donohue believes Kenny Jackett’s half-time tactical tinkering conjured up a welcome Fratton Park victory.
Chasing a first home league win in 50 days, the Blues headed into the interval goalless following an insipid opening 45 minutes against Fleetwood.
It prompted Jackett to ditch the 4-4-2 and restore his favoured 4-2-3-1 for the second half, with Donohue serving alongside Tom Naylor and Ben Thompson pushed up to feature in the centre of the attacking three.
Within five minutes, Oli Hawkins had netted the game’s decisive goal after Donohue’s right-wing corner.
Pompey continued to dominate and, ultimately, victory extended their lead to six points clear at the top of League One.
Donohue said: ‘The first half was stop-start and must have been a pretty boring game to watch, not enough was happening either way.
‘But in the second half we changed formation – and then got hold of the game quicker than they did.
‘Fleetwood would have been more than happy with a 0-0 coming here and were more or less playing for that.
‘They had a spell in the last 10-15 minutes, but that was expected. We just showed that we can defend as well as attack, we defended as a team.
‘I just think that we got more control of the ball after the break, through our three in midfield we just took over. Then when we’ve got Ronan and Jamal on both wings we look dangerous going forward.
‘We matched them in midfield and ran them over. We were more athletic than them, stronger than them and just we got to it quicker than they did.’