Paul Cook is adamant human error and not fan pressure was behind Saturday’s mistaken Fratton Park substitution.
Supporters were disappointed to see Jamal Lowe’s number held up on the fourth official’s board on 66 minutes against Accrington.
It prompted many to make their feelings known by booing the decision.
However, assistant manager Leam Richardson immediately sprang to his feet to speak to the official.
Instead, Gary Roberts suddenly made way for Carl Baker, prompting cheers at the apparent change of heart.
According to Cook, fourth official Marc Wilson was responsible for all the confusion.
And Pompey’s boss laughed off theories he changed his mind over the substitute’s identity due to adverse supporter reaction.
He said: ‘The fourth official put the wrong number up.
‘He was given Roberts and Kyle Bennett – but instead put up Lowe and Bennett.
‘To be fair, I think Robbie (Blake) was in charge of the subs, so we won’t go into that too much!
‘Although people may think it, I wouldn’t let Fratton Park influence my subs.
‘What I’ll do next time is put a number up and ask them to boo or cheer it and then go with it!
‘You can have the headline “Fratton End will decide the subs”. I’m dead happy with that!
‘It was just the wrong sub, that’s all.’
Pompey are tonight aiming for back-to-back league wins for the first time since November.
During that period they won 1-0 at Cambridge United (October 29), before defeating Mansfield 4-0 at Fratton Park.
Cook knows the necessity of stringing wins together if his side are to boost hopes of an automatic promotion slot.
He added: ‘Just win tonight, that’s all you have got to do.
‘Then, eventually, that game in hand will come around, which we must win.
‘If you put points on the board, people will not catch you, we are in such a strong position now it’s untrue.
‘Some people can’t see it – but we can. We have got to make sure we follow it up now.
‘I like playing well and I didn’t enjoy Saturday’s game because we kept giving the ball away in the second half and should have been going on and scoring.
‘We should have had fans going for a pint at the end having won 3-0 and been dead happy, but it’s not us.
‘We like the pain.’