Pompey showed moments of real quality as they dominated for most of the first half at Wycombe.
But Kenny Jackett was just as pleased with the way his team saw out a nervy finale to secure a 3-2 victory.
Jamal Lowe opened the scoring and Brett Pitman doubled the lead just after the break, with Marcus Bean controversially reducing the deficit.
Pitman immediately bent a fine free-kick around the wall, only for Scott Kashket’s screamer to ensure a tense conclusion.
But the visitors dealt with a late Chairboys charge to close the gap on the automatic promotion places and Jackett was pleased with the performance.
The Blues boss said: “It was very hard-fought – and it was always going to be. If you want to be a successful side then you need to come through different kinds of tests.
“I did feel that we didn’t get the best of the referee’s decisions and I’ll only say that because we’ve won the game.
"We found a way to win and at times had a lot of class, while also showing good guts towards the end of the game."
“The one for Bean’s goal was wrong because it was blatantly offside, but he thought it had gone in off our player.
“But we found a way to win and at times had a lot of class, while also showing good guts towards the end of the game.
“Brett took his first goal really well after being played through by Gareth Evans and their keeper didn’t have a chance with the free-kick.
“Kashket’s volley was a very good one and then there were six minutes of injury-time, so we had to ride that storm.
“They wanted to stay in the game and then bring Akinfenwa on and it’s something that’s proved successful in the past.”
Barnsley were beaten at Burton, meaning the Blues are now just two points behind them and Sunderland.
Jackett said: “It’s a stage of the season where other results around the country are relevant and it does look particularly tight at the top.
“We have to keep going and also needed to make sure that wasn’t a case of ‘after the Lord Mayor’s show’ for us following Wembley.”