Portsmouth 1-0 BoltonSoccer Saturday analysisCharlie Nicholas watched positivity pay off as Portsmouth took a massive step towards Premier League survival.
Substitute Kanu claimed the goal that gave them the three points as Paul Hart's men moved level with the Trotters on 37 points, just three shy of the magic 40 mark.
And although it took a scrappy goal to settle a tight affair, Nicholas was full of praise for the way Pompey's caretaker boss set up the task in hand.
"No way were they defensive, they thoroughly deserved to win, even if it took them a bit of time to break things down," he told Soccer Saturday.
"Bolton weren't bad in the first half. They were set up pretty strong as you always guarantee but I don't know how it happens when I get Jussi Jaaskelainen, he always seems to pull of some sensational saves and his performance wasn't disappointing."
Jaaskelainen kept the home side at bay until 12 minutes from time.
Then Nadir Belhadj whipped in a near-post corner that caused havoc before eventually squirting past the keeper with another replacement, Kanu, claiming the touch.
Nicholas remained unconvinced it was the Nigerian's goal, but was in no doubt about it's importance - whoever got the final touch.
"For the goal, Andy Gray will really need the magic of his machine on the Last Word," he said.
"Nadir Belhadj had come on for the injured Kranjcar and he bent it in and there was no-one guarding the near post.
"Gavin McCann makes a slight move to his right, but it bends inside him, there is a slight touch on it, Jaaskelainen is diving at his near post and it looks as if it comes off someone's knee, possibly his, possibly Kanu's.
"But Portsmouth don't care because it's turned the game round for them.
"Paul Hart was then back in his seat and it must've lasted two seconds. He was trying to look calm but then there were six added minutes.
"But they deserved the win; it eases the pressure on them and it takes them level with Bolton."