Kenny Jackett told how he went through the emotional mill as Pompey delivered late, late FA Cup glory.
The Blues boss was fearing the worst as Norwich were awarded a stoppage-time free-kick in his team’s 1-0 third-round success at Carrow Road.
With the Canaries snaring 13 league points with goals in the last 10 minutes this term, Jackett was readying himself for another late strike.
But that arrived from his side as Kenny McLean’s effort cannoned into the wall and seconds later sub Andre Green fired in the decisive finish.
It was the perfect present for Jackett, who was celebrating his 57th birthday at a ground where’s he not enjoyed too much success in his managerial career.
But he was delighted in the manner in which his side punched their weight with opposition who’ve got aspirations of reaching the Premier League.
Norwich made eight changes for the game and played for 75 minutes with 10 men after Grant Hanley’s dismissal for a professional foul on Ronan Curtis.
That didn’t detract from the Pompey boss’ pleasure at victory, however.
Jackett said: ‘When we conceded the free-kick at the end I was preparing my quotes!
‘There’s a lot of late goals at Carrow Road.
‘When he was lining up the free-kick it’s true (he was fearing the worst).
‘But we’ve blocked that one and within a short space of time broke and scored at the other end.
‘It’s a tough place to come and I haven’t had much success here.
‘I usually get the runaround from Wes Hoolahan or someone!
‘But it’s a great win for us and we’re pleased to progress.
‘I think Norwich made eight changes but it’s still a very buoyant and capable squad with some excellent players to come in.
‘It’s a very positive place Carrow Road, so we’re delighted to come here and get the win.
‘The key moment was the sending off so early in the game and I did think it was a red card.
‘But it looked like our pressure and chances wasn’t going to be capitalised on until the vital moment.’
Jackett was pleased from how his side dealt with the fluidity of Norwich’s play to ensure their place in the hat for the fourth round draw.
The win means Pompey pick up £135,000 in prize money as well as TV money and shared gate receipt revenue.
And the Blues manager felt the occasion showed the FA Cup still has its lustre.
Jackett added: ‘We went toe-to-toe with them.
‘Early on we knew we had to stay in the game and not let them get a goal to get their tails on.
‘We did that and then the red card was a key moment.
‘There’s not many players here with Championship experience.
‘So it’s a great experience for the players and exciting for the fans.
‘They will want to progress and be in the hat for the fourth round.
‘Those two things make it an exciting competition.
‘And thirdly the finance it can being to help the overall development of the club.
‘Overall sides from League One and League Two can really be helped by the finance.
‘It’s exciting for the players and the fans as well.’