Portsmouth manager Steve Cotterill revealed a half-time pep talk helped Dave Kitson fire his side to victory over Reading, which left Brian McDermott disappointed.
Kitson swept home Liam Lawrence's corner from the right-hand side after 51 minutes and Pompey's defence, inspired by debutant Jason Pearce, then withstood a Royals assault to secure their first win of the season.
The home fans were left frustrated by Kitson in the first half as he wasted number of chances to fire their side ahead.
He rounded Reading goalkeeper Adam Federici after 28 minutes, but blasted his effort straight into the side-netting.
This prompted chants from the home fans for striker Benjani, who was brought off the bench with 15 minutes left for his much-anticipated return to the club after a three-year absence.
Cotterill admitted Kitson's confidence took a knock, but said a few words of encouragement at the interval lifted the ex-Reading man.
He said: "When he had that chance in the first half when he went around Federici and hit the side-netting, he could have probably pulled the trigger earlier.
"He is quite a casual finisher and sometimes he has that sort of stride that makes it look like he doesn't work hard.
"And do you know what? Sometimes he doesn't work hard enough. We've spoken about that."
Cotterill added: "At half-time I had a quiet word with him and said, 'listen, I don't care how many you miss, you've got to keep getting in there. You've got to be in the box to score those goals'."
Reading boss McDermott felt his side should have had a penalty two minutes from time when Pompey defender Pearce appeared to handle inside the box.
He said: "In the second half we lost a bad goal from our point of view. We kept going and we could have nicked a draw. We had a penalty shout at the end when he (Pearce) handballed it.
"It's never easy to come to Portsmouth and get a win. It was two honest teams having a go at each other."