Portsmouth manager Kenny Jackett was glad to see his side pick it up after the break as they made it 10 successive home wins in all competitions with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Rochdale.
It was a perfect warm-up for Monday’s mouthwatering FA Cup clash with Arsenal.
Goals from Ryan Williams, Steve Seddon and Christian Burgess propelled the south coast side to third place in the League One table.
Pompey broke the deadlock on the stroke of half time when Dale goalkeeper Robert Sanchez could only parry Burgess’s header and Williams smashed home the rebound.
Substitute Seddon gave the hosts breathing space 12 minutes from time, driving home with a superb first time shot from outside the area for his first goal for the club.
With six minutes remaining Burgess put a flattering gloss on the win by heading in Seddon’s free-kick.
Pompey manager Kenny Jackett said: “It was only comfortable at the end. We had a lot of chances at the end which happens at the end of every game and we did today and I’m pleased we put them away.
“It was a poor first half by our standards. I didn’t think we had enough sparkle; we didn’t get any shots in and our crosses were going too close to the keeper and by the 40-minute mark I was disappointed really until the goal.
“It’s terrific to be third for now but we’ll see what happens over the weekend and we look forward to the big cup game on Monday against Arsenal.
“It’s the right time to come into this position, we have big games coming up with Peterborough and Fleetwood and they’re great games. It’s all there to play for now.
“I was right behind Seddon’s goal and it was a strike really, it’s real good quality, it was in all the way and the keeper had no chance.”
Rochdale manager Brian Barry-Murphy said: “It’s kind of deja vu tonight. We dominated for large periods. There’s no shame or embarrassment on our part.
“The players put into practice everything we asked and it was an immensely disciplined and resolute performance that would be easy to get distracted by the scoreline but I won’t be.
“I just wanted to explain to the lads at half time how good they’d been and really reaffirm how much I believed we could score in the second half to draw or win the game.
“We were always of the belief we would need to score here because Portsmouth always score in literally every home game.
“People won’t see it but it was a very good night for us in many ways. It was tough for both teams because of the conditions. We showed our identity in every minute really so I was very happy with loads of aspects.”