Guy Whittingham conceded Pompey rode their luck to emerge victorious against Oxford United.
Whittingham’s men won 2-1 at the Kassam Stadium last night to progress into the next round of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
They had plenty of scares along the way, however, particularly during an uninspiring first half in which the U’s dominated and the visitors failed to even muster a shot.
Yet Pompey managed to limp into the interval unscathed – allowing them to raise their game in the second period to triumph.
And Whittingham admitted the Blues had made the most of their good fortune.
He said: ‘We were lucky to come in at half-time goalless, without a shadow of a doubt.
‘They came right at us and we didn’t compete.
‘The competitiveness and desire was lacking in the first half.
‘We had to come out in the second half differently.
‘I don’t think we got a shot, corner or throw-in in the final third or anything.
‘They were on top of us and we couldn’t get out and we couldn’t get at them.
‘We let them have too much time on the ball and that wasn’t good enough.
‘We were let off the hook, let’s face facts.
‘We could have gone in one down easily but we defended well, that’s the first thing to take out of it.
‘If the team is on the ascendancy at least don’t concede.
‘We started the second half a lot better. We closed them down and hassled them – that’s what they were doing to us.
‘Once we started doing that to them the game became a little more balanced.’