Paul Cook admitted victory over Accrington Stanley proved painful viewing.
Pompey picked up a 2-0 success over John Coleman’s side with a goal at either end of the game.
An opener after 75 seconds looked likely to put Cook’s side on the way to a comfortable three points.
But it became an increasingly tense Fratton Park as the performance became disjointed as the afternoon wore on.
Cook was just satisfied to come away with the win after performing well at Wycomble last weekend and leaving empty handed.
He said: ‘It was painful in the end. Really painful.
‘We started so brightly and looked like we could win by a really good margin.
‘But we deteriorated into a state where the ground became a nervous cauldron.
‘It took us 90 minutes to get the second when we were having the breakaways where we have to put the game to bed.
‘I won’t do a negative one – but I was pleased when the referee blew the final whistle!’