There was a nervous energy around Fratton Park for the first half of their latest clash with Bolton.
Searching for just a second league victory of the season, Pompey failed to find much fluency before the interval.
But Brett Pitman headed home the winning goal – shortly after sending a penalty against the post – to secure a tension-releasing three points.
Kenny Jackett felt his side warranted that outcome and wants them to use the result as a springboard for more positive results.
The Blues boss said: “We looked pretty nervous in the first half and so we needed to improve. We spoke to the players about coming through that.
“No disrespect to Bolton, but the answer to that was within ourselves. We had to earn the confidence because nobody was going to hand it to us.
“We did open up a bit more in the second half and were able to create a lot of chances. The penalty was missed, but we got the goal and kept a clean sheet.
"We had to earn the confidence because nobody was going to hand it to us."
“The result was deserved and now we hope that it’s a building block towards a successful run that can give us momentum and confidence.
“We’ve had a poor start to the season and when that happens you have to dig in and keep working hard to come through that adversity.”
Oli Hawkins’ injury opened up a spot in the centre of defence, with Sean Raggett selected and Paul Downing not making the 18-man matchday squad.
Jackett explained: “We decided to go with Burgess and Raggett to see how that combination looked and try to settle things down.
“Paul was a little bit unlucky not to get on the bench, but we’re at home and wanted those more attacking options.
“He’ll be disappointed, but he’s an experienced professional and he understands the reasoning, so now he has to bounce back.”
It was a frustrating afternoon for Ronan Curtis on the left, but Jackett has backed the winger to rediscover his form.
He said: “There was a lot of effort, as there was on Tuesday night – he always gives it his all. But things aren’t quite coming off for him in the final third.
“Ronan found a lot of shooting situations last season, but now you see that people are doubling up on him.
“He needs to go outside a little more or be a provider and play other guys in, but is a determined character and he’ll come through it.”