Ben Close was called upon to add a calming presence to Pompey’s midfield against Doncaster.
The Blues had been second best throughout the opening 45 minutes at the Keepmoat Stadium on Saturday.
So Kenny Jackett brought on the midfielder and Brett Pitman – and it had the desired effect, with the visitors producing a much improved performance.
They were not quite able to snatch a winner, but the impressive Close was not overly disappointed with a draw.
He said: “It was definitely hard-fought and I think it’s a decent point for us against difficult opposition.
“Doncaster were on top in the first half and we had to defend really well. It was anxious looking on from the sidelines.
"A goal would have been perfect, but you can’t ask for much more than four wins and a draw to start the season."
“You have to think how you’ll affect the game if you come on and the gaffer told us what was needed at the break.
“We had some good chances and could have nicked it, but we’re pleased with the point and the clean sheet.
“It’s a sign of a decent team to be under so much pressure and to then come out and take the game to the opposition.
“A goal would have been perfect, but you can’t ask for much more than four wins and a draw to start the season.”
Close has started just one of Pompey’s five league games so far this term, but knows he has to stay patient.
He said: “I missed most of pre-season, which was frustrating, but now I need to kick on and try to get more minutes on the pitch.
“There’s more competition in the squad this time and everyone brings something different, so that can only be a positive for us.
“Ben Thompson has also come in and looked a really good signing, showing what he can do in the past few games.”