Kenny Jackett stressed Pompey must use their win against Bolton as a catalyst to kick-start their League One season.
But the boss insisted that his troops must earn the confidence that’s required to go on a winning run.
The Blues delivered just a second victory of the league campaign with a 1-0 success over the Trotters. Brett Pitman headed home on 66 minutes, seven minutes after missing a penalty.
It was a much-needed three points following a stuttering start this term.
Pompey moved up to 19th in the table, although they have three games in hand on some of their rivals.
Jackett felt his side looked nervous in the first half, with Bolton having the better goalscoring chances.
He was pleased how the Blues grew into the game after the interval, though, and felt they deserved their success.
Now the manager has challenged his players to gain the impetus required to start climbing the standings.
Jackett said: ‘It was a deserved win, had other chances and got a clean sheet as well.
‘We could have finished the game nervously but came through it and saw the job out.
‘Now it needs to be a building block, a stepping stone to where we want to get to.
‘You can’t get full confidence straight away – it doesn’t always happen that way. You have to work hard at it persevere and make sure you can get a result to build on it.
‘Confidence is hard-earned – no-one is going to give it to you and you have to graft for it.
‘You have to work hard enough to come through it. We got the atmosphere going again in the second half and it would have been lovely to have added to the header but they didn’t have any chances.
‘It was a good clean sheet, could have got more the other end and hopefully it’s a building block to a run, some momentum and confidence.
‘But no-one is going to give you that, whether it be Bolton or Doncaster next week. You have to work hard and mentality and physically you have to understand that.’