Jack Ross felt there was little between the sides as Sunderland edged Pompey in their latest League One tussle.
The Black Cats grabbed a 2-1 victory as the two sides met for the fifth time in 20 weeks at the Stadium of Light.
Sunderland turned the game on its head after falling behind and Ross acknowledged the margins were fine once again.
Ross told www.chroniclelive.co.uk: ‘I’m delighted for the players that they have got that feeling of having won an important league game, because it was a big game, Portsmouth are a good side, and we had to work hard for the win.
‘There will be other teams that will undoubtedly challenge, but Portsmouth are a good side and they showed that again today.
‘Kenny (Jackett) has recruited well and there is not going to be much between the sides in games like this, as we saw last week at Portman Road against another good side.
‘So for us to achieve the win is important, it is still incredibly early in the season but it was an important one for us.’
Ross reserved praise for his players after they battled back from Marcus Harness’ opener with the pressure mounting in front of the home crowd.
The tension was mounting among the Sunderland faithful, but two goals in 12 minutes before the break from Jordan Willis and Chris Maguire swung the game back in their favour.
Ross felt the pressure faced is always there as they chase promotion.
He added: ‘I have said often enough about the pressure and expectancy on us to win every game, so the build-up was no different for me.
‘It (the pressure) is omnipresent - it never goes away.
‘Whether you have won five games in a row or lost five games in a row, it never really changes.
‘We’ve won a ridiculously big number of points from losing positions over the last 13 months and we can’t keep doing that, we know that, but we also know that we do have that character and resilience in the squad.’