Enda Stevens hailed Pompey’s performance against Carlisle and admitted: Our quality shone through in the end.
The Blues secured an impressive 3-0 win at Brunton Park to put hopes of automatic promotion from League Two back in their own hands.
Victory moved Paul Cook’s side up to fourth in the table – three points behind third-placed Carlisle with a game in hand and a greater goal difference.
The enormity of Saturday’s match wasn’t lost on the Pompey players, who knew a top-drawer display was needed to maintain their interest in the pursuit of a top-three spot.
And left-back Stevens insisted the side rose to the occasion, with their professionalism and game management key to the success.
‘It was a massive game for us,’ admitted the Irishman.
‘Carlisle were in good form, they had recently beaten Wycombe and Doncaster, so we knew we were in for a test and had to pay them respect.
‘But I thought it was our most professional performance of the season so far.
‘To a man, we all did our jobs and we reaped the benefits with three goals.
‘In the first half we wanted to get the ball down and play but it was hard with the conditions and we just felt it was too risky.
‘We also knew the longer the game was 0-0 that we would take control – and I thought we did that in the second half.
‘We started off well, then they got on top of us for a bit but we saw it out.
‘David Forde made a great save and then a bit of magic from Gary Roberts and the game settled down.
‘We have a lot of good professionals here and we saw the game through.’