David James is convinced Portsmouth have at last rediscovered the form that took them all the way to FA Cup glory last season.
The holders escaped the embarrassment of being eliminated at the first hurdle by winning 2-0 at Bristol City on Tuesday after the two sides had shared a 0-0 draw at Fratton Park 10 days before.
Fortune favoured Tony Adams' side when Peter Crouch appeared to handle in the Portsmouth box seconds before opening the scoring at the other end.
And the Premier League side would have had a more nervous end to the game had James not saved Nicky Maynard's 89th-minute penalty shortly after Niko Kranjcar had made it 2-0.
But the England goalkeeper, who had made fine stops previously in the game to deny Maynard and Marvin Elliott, was convinced Portsmouth deserved to be in the fourth round, where they will be at home to Swansea.
James said: "It was getting back to the old Portsmouth. We did the defending bit well and then we were looking good offensively as well.
"It breeds confidence and we won the FA Cup last season by winning by one goal all the time, so it's nice to win by two clear goals for a change.
"We built our season on clean sheets last season and broke all sorts of club records so another one will restore some confidence back in the team.
"They had a couple of chances but we looked a lot more organised and I'm delighted with a clean sheet. It was the story from last season's FA Cup run."