East finds positives in Cup loss

Danny East attempts to get a header in on goal from a Pompey corner Picture: Joe Pepler
Danny East attempts to get a header in on goal from a Pompey corner Picture: Joe Pepler
Milan Lalkovic in pre-season action against the Hawks

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Danny East believes FA Cup heartbreak could yet have hidden positives for Pompey.

The versatile defender put in an impressive shift on his return to the side, replacing Yassin Moutaouakil at half-time in the 2-1 defeat at Stevenage.

With the Frenchman out of sorts and already on a yellow card, it appeared that East was brought on to try to avoid him being sent off.

But while East gave everything as the Blues unsuccessfully failed to get back on level terms in a frantic finish at the Lamex Stadium, he reflected that the club’s hopes for League Two success could be boosted as a result.

He explained: ‘Of course everyone wants to be in the FA Cup – especially in the third round when the big boys come into the competition.

‘You always hope for that wonder draw.

‘But that’s not going to happen. We are out of it now so we can focus on the league to try to push on for promotion and do well in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and try to get to Wembley in that competition.

‘We didn’t want to go out in the first round and I think our performance showed that in the second half, when we were battering them, trying to get the equaliser.

‘But it could be a blessing in disguise.

‘We’ve got a small squad and we know our priority is League Two this season.

‘So we will keep cracking on with that instead.’

The former Hull City man made his return to the team as a substitute after a spell on the sidelines with injury.

But he is hoping to secure his place in the team, regardless of where he is asked to play.

He said: ‘I hope I can get a chance now. If I can get back in the side, I don’t want to give it up easily.

‘I felt like I had done quite well in the side up until the York game, but then I pulled my hamstring, which I was gutted about.

‘I played three different positions in one half, which might be a record for me!

‘But it was good to get a run-out after the injury.

‘I started at right-back, then I went to right wing-back and then into centre midfield.

‘At the end, I was playing everywhere because we were throwing men forward trying to get the goal.

‘I was just trying to get forward as much as I could.’

– STEVE WILSON