Danny Cowley hailed Dane Scarlett’s match-winning role at Port Vale.
The on-loan Tottenham striker raced away to collect Marlon Pack’s threaded pass and slot Pompey into the lead midway through the first half.
It proved enough to claim all three points, with Pompey unable to turn their overall dominance into more goals.
But there were plenty of performances that caught Cowley’s eye, as he watched his side rise to the League One summit.
The Blues boss said: “It’s a really good win against a team who are newly promoted and have made a positive start. It’s a super outcome.
“Dane missed a couple on Tuesday and I didn’t worry at all because he’s just so single-minded and nothing seems to touch him.
“He’s a young boy and it’s his first senior goal and it’ll mean so much more because it sealed a hard-fought win.
“It’ll be the first of many for him and it’s a great day overall, with Marlon Pack playing his 500th league game, which is an outstanding achievement.
"Dane missed a couple on Tuesday and I didn’t worry at all because he’s just so single-minded and nothing seems to touch him."
“Josh Griffiths had nothing to do all game and then finds a save from nowhere right at the end of stoppage-time.
“We could have been more ruthless and found a second or third goal, but we didn’t and had to grind it out.
“Sometimes these games aren’t remembered, but they are so important and can really define your season.
“We’re pleased with the way we’ve started and the players deserve the credit for how they’ve come together on and off the pitch.”
Pompey were forced into an early change when Michael Morrison took a bash to the head from Ellis Harrison.
Cowley said: “It was a ridiculous challenge, but I won’t say anything more than that. He took a nasty one just above the eye and had blurred vision.
“The concussion protocols meant he had to come off and we brought Clark Robertson on, who was brilliant.
“It’s not easy to lose a senior player in your defensive line so early, but we came through that and kept a clean sheet.”