Adam Barton spoke of his delight after helping Pompey salvage a Kassam Stadium point – and remain undefeated.
The Blues headed in at half-time 1-0 down against Oxford United on Saturday following Liam Sercombe’s 33rd-minute goal.
People shouldn’t underestimate it, that was a point against a good teamAdam Barton
It had been a poor opening 45 minutes from the visitors and, at the interval, Barton was called into action.
Replacing Nigel Atangana who had been troubled by a virus all week, it marked the former Coventry City midfielder’s league debut for the Blues.
And he turned in an assured display as Adam McGurk’s stunning goal on 61 minutes grabbed a 1-1 draw.
He said: ‘In the first half we struggled to get two or three passes together, so the Gaffer’s instruction to me was to try to move the ball and get us playing.
‘It’s hard when you are coming on and haven’t played for so long, especially at half time when everyone is at a certain tempo and you have to come on and go straight into that tempo.
‘But you soon get playing again and it comes back to you.
‘I thought we created more chances in the second half, we dominated, and until Michael Doyle’s sending off thought we were going to get a second.
‘Once we went down to 10-men it was more important to get a point and stay unbeaten.
‘You cannot be frustrated with the result, we are unbeaten and it was a good point away from home, if you can pick points up away from home it is always good.
‘People shouldn’t underestimate it, that was a point against a good team. I think Oxford will be up there, they are organised and have good enough players who can fight for the play-offs.
‘You can’t win every game, yet picking up points here and there is a good thing.’
McGurk’s third goal of the season ensured the unbeaten league run this campaign now stretches to eight matches.
The Ulsterman’s 35-yard shot which beat Sam Slocombe in goal certainly was a collectors’ item.
Few had a better view that Barton, who admitted the finish also took him by complete surprise.
He added: ‘I was right behind it and as soon as he has hit it the keeper has guessed where it was going.
‘He has taken a step to the right and it has obviously gone the other way. I think the keeper has misjudged it.
‘Adam is a great finisher but not like that, he hasn’t done one of those in training!
‘ I think a few of the lads would have got onto his case if he had scuffed that one up considering he was shooting from there!’
– NEIL ALLEN