Portsmouth manager Paul Hart was not just relieved but delighted with his side's 3-1 win over Carlisle in the Carling Cup - and insisted his team are showing form that suggests their perilous Premier League position is false.
The visitors overcame an early scare at Brunton Park to seal a victory which brings them welcome respite from the record-breaking run of six defeats with which they have opened their Barclays Premier League campaign.
"There's nothing like winning, and it doesn't half make you feel better," said Hart, whose side have lost all six of their league contests this term.
Hart's job looked to be on the line when Ian Harte stepped up in the second minute to give the League One side the lead from the penalty spot. But Aruna Dindane, Danny Webber and Anthony Vanden Borre all scored their first goals for Pompey who recovered well to run out comfortable winners.
"I was delighted to be honest," Hart said. "Lower-league clubs are never easy and you have to go about it in the right way. We got off to a bad start - you probably expected the worst at that point. But we rallied well and came back very strongly.
"It's not as if we are playing badly. If the second-half performance against Aston Villa and the whole performance against Bolton Wanderers was anything to go by - well, we made mistakes, but there are an awful lot of good things as well."
Having watched Portsmouth deal with his team in a clinical fashion, Carlisle manager Greg Abbott said he felt that the visitors had enough about them to lift themselves out of their current predicament.
"It's tough to say because the Premier League is so different in terms of quality from our level, with the amount of finances involved," Abbott said.
"But they looked a good side, didn't they? A lot of pace, a lot of power. I think defensively they look like they might have problems, although I don't think that was their first-choice back four.
"But certainly going forward, they seem to have a lot of options and a lot of attacking ideas. I think if they can be collective and stay together and defend well and properly, keeping as many clean sheets as possible - and Paul will work on that - then they have a chance."
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