Michael Appleton praised Pompey’s resilience after overcoming a slick Crystal Palace to keep their survival hopes alive.
Led by in-demand Wilfried Zaha, the Eagles were a constant attacking threat throughout last night’s Fratton Park encounter.
The Blues ran out 2-1 victors, yet it was a nervy occasion at times – particularly after Darren Ambrose pulled a goal back for the visitors on 71 minutes.
The defence – marshalled by skipper Jason Pearce – stood firm, though, safely seeing out five minutes of time added on without any further mishap.
Faint hopes of avoiding relegation with two matches to play still remain.
And Appleton was delighted with his team’s gutsy performance which ensures the survival battle continues.
He said: ‘I thought it was a really good game.
‘It was a little too open at times but I suppose the way we set up with three up top probably made it that way.
‘Palace were very dangerous. They’ve got some good young players – they play with freedom.
‘It was almost as if they were playing on a Sunday league park in terms of how they just went out and enjoyed their football.
‘The lads stood strong, though, hung in there and played some good stuff.
‘At times they were under the cosh in the second half but I thought we counter-attacked really well.
‘We will give it everything we’ve got on Saturday and if the worst-case scenario does happen, hopefully we can do it with a little bit about us.’