Portsmouth boss John Mousinho praised Owen Moxon for the way he handled “difficult circumstances” on his Carlisle United return.

The former Blues midfielder, who left United for Pompey on transfer deadline day, tasted victory at his former club.

Moxon was a second-half substitute for the League One leaders and received a warm reception from Carlisle fans.

His manager was delighted with how the 26-year-old from Denton Holme dealt with the occasion and in his 15-minute cameo.

“Owen coming on under probably difficult circumstances, with all the build-up, and coming back here so soon after he joined us – he gave us a bit more physicality in the middle of the park,” said Mousinho of the game’s closing stages.

“The lads did the job brilliantly. I thought Mox looked really good, really lively.”

News and Star: Moxon received a warm welcome from Blues fansMoxon received a warm welcome from Blues fans (Image: Ben Holmes)

Paddy Lane’s second-half goal gave Portsmouth the points as they opened a six-point gap at the top of the table.

Mousinho admitted his team were not always at their best but were still emphatic value for the win against bottom side Carlisle.

“I’m delighted with the result. I thought we got what we deserved, despite not really being at it for the first 20 minutes,” he said in a club interview.

News and Star: Moxon in Pompey coloursMoxon in Pompey colours (Image: Barbara Abbott)

“On the balance of the game, we dominated proceedings, had the best chances and saw the game out in the end.

“We were a bit sloppy [in that opening period]. We pressed really well, had a few opportunities to break but things kept breaking down for us.

“[The message was] if you apply yourself properly and put the quality the players have on the pitch, you score a goal like we did.

“And the other side was making sure we switch on because Carlisle always pose a threat.”

Mousinho felt his side convincingly kept United at bay in order to seal the result.

News and Star: John Mousinho and Paul Simpson shake hands before the gameJohn Mousinho and Paul Simpson shake hands before the game (Image: Barbara Abbott)

“I don’t think Will [Norris, Portsmouth’s goalkeeper] really had a save to make, and certainly [didn’t in the] second half.

“The two centre-backs won everything, dominated. The back four dealt with everything really well. For Will not to have to make a save for the entire game speaks volume.”

Paul Simpson, meanwhile, praised United fans for the welcome they offered to Moxon.

News and Star: Owen Moxon embraces United coach Geoff Haugh after the gameOwen Moxon embraces United coach Geoff Haugh after the game (Image: Ben Holmes)

"I thought they showed massive respect," Simpson told BBC Cumbria.

"I know everyone was disappointed that Owen decided to leave, but Carlisle United fans showed the true side of them today.

"We're all very quick to talk about the incidents that go on when somebody abuses an official, or something gets thrown - I think the fans deserve a hell of a lot of credit today.

"For me, that showed what they are really like."

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