Joe Gallen pinpointed the pivotal timing of Pompey’s breakthrough goal as they inflicted a hammering on Southend.
John Marquis netted in first-half stoppage time to set Kenny Jackett’s men on their way to a 4-1 success.
Once the resilience of Sol Campbell’s side had been broken, there were also goals for Ellis Harrison (two) and Marcus Harness.
And Pompey’s assistant manager believes the arrival of their opener on the stroke of half-time was crucial.
Gallen said: ‘After the first goal it lifted a lot of tension in the ground just before half-time.
‘People say it’s a good time to score, but there’s never a bad time to score, let’s be honest.
‘It was a good goal, with Brandon and Ben Close working their way up the pitch and John getting a toe poke, a good goal-scorer’s goal.
‘You could see in the second half the tension had been lifted a little and, going towards our home fans, we played some good stuff and created a lot of chances.
‘I’m pleased to say that we took those chances, enough for us to get a 4-1 win.
‘I thought overall we deserved it and played pretty well at times and so it’s onto the next, we need to get on a run.
‘You are always looking for an early goal and you are looking to score first and get an early goal to settle things down, especially in a game in this context.
‘If you don’t score in the opening 20 minutes things can get a little tense and I was glad the goal came when it did.’