Andy Barcham saluted Pompey’s defensive resilience following a gutsy return to winning ways.
In-form strike duo Matt Tubbs and Ryan Taylor both netted in Saturday’s 2-0 triumph over Luton Town.
Yet the backbone of the victory was a well-drilled defensive display as the Blues chalked up a sixth clean sheet in 10 matches.
Despite coming under severe pressure in the second half, Awford’s men stood firm, restricting the Hatters to barely a shot on target.
In the absence of Josh Passley, Barcham featured in that Fratton Park back line at right wing-back.
And he was full of praise for the performance of his team-mates.
Credit to us, we put in a very good defensive display. It was hard at times, especially when a team puts that constant amount of pressure on you.Andy Barcham
He said: ‘Credit to us, we put in a very good defensive display. It was hard at times, especially when a team puts that constant amount of pressure on you.
‘It would have been a different game if Luton did get one but we held on.
‘When they kicked off the second half we knew they would come at us and try to put the pressure on, keeping that high tempo up, so we were trying to slow it down.
‘Afterwards we were looking at the stats and the amount of shots they had compared to the amount that actually went through to Jonah (Paul Jones) and it wasn’t that many.
‘That says we are getting up in their faces and pressing hard, obviously making them mistime their shots or getting the blocks in.
‘I think it is great to see players throwing their bodies in the way, it shows how much it means to us.
‘It’s good to see the free-flowing stuff and goals and the good passing but it cannot always be like that, sometimes you have got to put in displays like that.
‘There are certain people in our team, Dunney (James Dunne) especially, he loves things like that and sometimes you get the same buzz, especially when it goes right.
‘You come into the changing room and see people like Robbo putting their bodies on the line.
‘It does so much for the team morale and spirit when you can keep a clean sheet and put in performances like that defensively.’
Meanwhile, further upfield, Tubbs and Taylor have between them scored 10 goals in their last 10 matches.
Jed Wallace was involved in the build-up for both goals, the opener coming from Tubbs in only the third minute.
The victory moves Pompey into 13th spot, eight points short of the play-offs with 10 matches remaining.
And Barcham was impressed with the two strikes which provided victory.
He added: ‘They were very good finishes, very clinical.
‘They were different but both technically very good and were vital.
‘We performed well as a unit but those goals were a nice little spark to the game, little bits of brilliance you like to see and two very good finishes.’