Danny Cowley hailed Pompey’s endeavour after they beat Lincoln in a dramatic League One contest at Fratton Park.
Ronan Curtis came off the bench to slot home a late winner after the hosts had let a two-goal lead slip.
George Hirst’s penalty and a fine Michael Jacobs free-kick gave them a comfortable lead in the second half, only for Ted Bishop and Ben House to reply for the Imps.
And Cowley felt that the busy fixture schedule meant his side were never going to be able to perform at their maximum levels.
The Blues boss said: “It was a great win for us because it’s a huge ask – physically and mentally – to play on the Tuesday and then the Friday.
“I was really proud of the way we went about it, even though we weren’t at our best in a tactical and technical sense.
“But we showed a huge amount of determination and resilience to find a way to come away with all three points.
“We lost our way a bit towards the end of the first half and were too slow in possession, which allowed them to get players beyond the ball.
"I was really proud of the way we went about it, even though we weren’t at our best in a tactical and technical sense."
“So we wanted to be able to play with a bit more purpose in the Lincoln half, which we did well after the break.
“We found a good place in the game to go 2-0 up and were winning the ball high up the pitch, creating lots of opportunities.
“Unfortunately, we conceded soon after scoring the second goal and that always hurts you, while you feared for us when the equaliser went in.
“We were going to suffer in the final 20 minutes and there’s nothing you can do about that against a side who are totally fresh.
“I think those inside the stadium understood and respected that and there was a collective desire to find us the winner.
“The players were dead on their feet and it’s tough when the games come thick and fast, but we navigated through it and sometimes the will is more important than the skill.
“I liked the strength of character because there were many excuses the players could have had and they chose not to take them.”
Pompey were forced to make an early change, with midfielder Joe Morrell limping from the field after receiving treatment.
Cowley said: “It was a dead leg, which is the good news, although it’s a pretty severe one. Louis Thompson also came off because his calf was a bit tight.”