Danny Cowley had called for his side to show more grit and determination on the road ahead of the League One opener against Sheffield Wednesday.
And Pompey certainly delivered that in spades to secure a point in a see-saw 3-3 draw at Hillsborough.
They trailed to Marvin Johnson’s goal at the end of an insipid first half, but there was barely time to draw breath after the interval.
Connor Ogilvie levelled and Fisayo Dele-Bashiru immediately hit back, only for Michael Jacobs and Colby Bishop to turn the contest on its head.
Dele-Bashiru ultimately struck again to deny the visitors all three points, but Cowley was proud of their efforts.
The Blues boss said: “Wednesday have signed some fantastic players for this level and you have to consider that we’ve just come together as a group.
“Michael Morrison hadn’t done a day’s training with the team before playing 45 minutes at Barnet on Tuesday.
“Sean Raggett had also done nothing for a while before that game and his back wasn’t right, but he was willing to have an injection to play.
"We’ve got a stronger mentality now and the message at the break was to be little bit braver and to punch back."
“That says a lot about the character of the group we have and the early parts of the match were tough for us.
“Our opponents had a real rhythm after going ahead and we had to dig really deep, especially after what happened last season when we conceded goal, goal, goal.
“We’ve got a stronger mentality now and the message at the break was to be a little bit braver and to punch back.
“We came out for the second half and scored some really good goals to get into a really positive position, so their equaliser is frustrating.
“There was an obvious penalty for us after that – I don’t really know what to say because Dane Scarlett has been kicked in the head.
“It wasn’t given and so you have to swallow that, but my overriding emotion was of pride for the group because we showed plenty of substance.”
Raggett wore the captain’s armband after regular skipper Clark Robertson was ruled out through injury.
Cowley said: “Clark had some tightness in his foot and there’s a small tear in it, which is frustrating. It will be short-term, so we’re hopeful for next Saturday.”