John Marquis revealed a half-time rocket prompted Pompey’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy victory last night.
The Blues were poor in the first half against Oxford, failing to register a shot on goal at the Kassam Stadium.
Guy Whittingham’s side went with a 4-2-3-1 formation with Marquis utilised on his own up front.
His team were lucky to go in level at the break, leading to some strong words from their manager.
That seemed to do the trick.
Pompey were dominant after the restart and created a number of chances as they took charge.
Marquis said: ‘We started slowly and we were flat.
‘I was up front by myself and that was a bit different.
‘It was a bit hard at times and we struggled to get to grips with it.
‘We struggled to get players around their defence and it didn’t work very well.
‘So the manager had a few words at half-time and gave us a kick up the backside.
‘That was quite right, too. We deserved it because we didn’t play to our standards. It needed to be done.
‘We went out in the second half and were a lot more positive.
‘Then the introduction of Patrick Agyemang and going two up front made a difference.
‘He changed the game and started to give them a lot of problems.’
Marquis got his second goal in as many starts since arriving on loan from Millwall.
The 21-year-old grafted for 90 minutes and had a couple of chances before burying a header with eight minutes left.
Marquis said: ‘I don’t mind working hard.
‘It’s a team game and it was about getting into the next round of the cup.
‘We’ve done that with hard work.
‘I feel I did okay and I was delighted to get the goal.
‘There were a couple of chances but I’m getting sharper.
‘I feel every minute I’m on the pitch a chance can come my way.’