Sean Raggett felt that Pompey could have collapsed after letting their two-goal lead slip against Lincoln.
Ted Bishop and Ben House both struck to cancel out George Hirst’s penalty and a fine Michael Jacobs free-kick at Fratton Park.
But substitute Ronan Curtis struck in the closing stages to ensure it was the hosts who claimed all three points.
And Raggett was delighted with the determination on display from the Blues during a hectic run of fixtures.
The centre-back said: “We started the game really well, but then came off it a little bit towards the end of the first half.
“After going 2-0 up soon after the break, we made life hard for ourselves by giving away two sloppy goals.
"That’s not the group we’ve got here, though, and we showed spirit to get the third goal and win the game."
“But to be fair to the lads, we’ve had a really busy schedule and could have gone under after Lincoln got back level.
“That’s not the group we’ve got here, though, and we showed spirit to get the third goal and win the game.
“We now have to recover well before facing a dangerous Morecambe side, who will be fighting for their lives.
“They’ve just got a good result and it’s going to be another tough match, so we’re going to have to bring our A-game.”
The winner from Curtis came after Raggett had surged forward and seen his shot parried by keeper Jordan Wright.
He said: “I don’t find myself in those positions too often and it was a good follow-up from Ronan to score the goal.”