Ralph Hasenhüttl felt he learned a lot about his players in the hostile surroundings of Fratton Park last night.
No player on either side had ever played in a south coast derby before last night, but it was Saints who took local bragging rights with a resounding 4-0 success.
Hasenhüttl’s men had to weather an early storm from underdogs Portsmouth, but showed their strength of character to take control of the match after Danny Ings opened the scoring in the 21st minute.
It was the first of two goals on the night for the boyhood Saints fan, who also played a key role in Cédric’s second-half clincher, before Nathan Redmond put the icing on the cake.
“You see how we compete and who is able to play a good game,” Hasenhüttl said. “That was an important experience for me also.
“I think it was a fantastic performance from Ingsy. He worked hard, he deserved to get his two goals and he helped us out massively today.”
The boss also reserved praise for goalkeeper Alex McCarthy, who made a crucial save to deny Brett Pitman’s header before Ings made the breakthrough.
“We had a little bit of luck in the first 15 minutes – they had two or three chances. I thought it was a goal,” he said of the Pitman chance.
“Again, it’s a clean sheet in the Carabao Cup. He (McCarthy) is in really good shape at the moment and I’m very happy for him to make such a good performance.”