Joe Gallen lauded Pompey’s application as they eased into the quarter-finals of the Checkatrade Trophy.
The Blues delivered a 2-0 comfortable victory at Southend United last night.
Louis Dennis grabbed his first goal for the club after just 93 seconds, before Gareth Evans doubled Kenny Jackett’s side’s lead shortly before half-time.
Despite Pompey making 10 changes from Saturday’s win over Norwich in the FA Cup – and the Shrimpers fielding a strong side – the visitors never looked in any danger of throwing away their advantage.
Chris Powell’s men conjured up just one shot on target all evening.
And Gallen was delighted with the resolve the Blues displayed.
The assistant boss said: ‘It was a great win and a great performance all round.
‘We did expect and it was a strong Southend side. They had no players who weren’t inexperienced, making debuts or playing out of position.
'That makes it even more pleasing with the side that we had and played as well as we did.
‘We got a clean sheet, scored two very good goals and it was a very pleasing night.
‘We didn’t expect them to come for us more in the second half with us winning 2-0.
‘There was an improvement from their point of view but I’m very pleased we came here and got a clean sheet because we came here in the league last season and didn’t get one.
‘It was fully deserved. We obviously got off to a good start with the first goal.
‘It was a good cross from Dan Smith and Louis rose well and headed it in off the crossbar before Gareth has scored with another good finish on the edge of the box.
‘I’m very pleased and commend everyone for their attitude – hopefully we can maintain this.’
Jackett handed a debut to Dan Smith – who featured at right-back rather than his favoured striking role.
Youngsters Matt Casey, Bradley Lethbridge and Freddie Read were also given their second Pompey appearances.
And there was also a Blues bow for Academy forward Leon Maloney.
Gallen hailed how the fledgling talents performed against an experienced Southend outfit.
He added: ‘Freddie Read came on to play, Dan Smith would call himself a centre-forward but slotted in at right-back, while Leon Maloney came on.
‘There was a lot of younger boys playing. Matt Casey played his second game at centre-half and makes it even more pleasing.
‘There’s a very good attitude running through the club and it’s up to the players and us to maintain that.’