Gary Roberts: I’m here for a Pompey promotion

Gary Roberts. Picture: Joe Pepler
Gary Roberts. Picture: Joe Pepler
Confidence: Pompey defender Christian Burgess

Burgess: Whoever wins Pompey defensive duel will deliver

  • Roberts won the League Two title with Chesterfield in 2013-14
  • Also won the League One play-offs with Huddersfield in 2011-12
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Gary Roberts delivered the Pompey battle cry and insisted: I have come here for promotion.

The Blues head into the final friendly of their pre-season on Saturday in the build-up to an eagerly-anticipated League Two campaign.

The fans are crying out for promotion, they are still coming in their droves but how long can it last at League Two? It’s not a good league

Gary Roberts

Although not all performances have satisfied Paul Cook, his side will face Gillingham on the back of five matches without defeat.

Roberts, who dropped down from League One with Chesterfield to move to Fratton Park, has been impressed with the squad quality.

And he is determined this season should yield promotion for the long-frustrated Fratton faithful.

He said: ‘You don’t want to sound too confident, it comes back and bites you, but with the squad of players we’ve got and the manager and staff we’ve got, if we don’t challenge the players have to look at each other.

‘With the calibre at this football club we should definitely be challenging.

‘That is my opinion, I haven’t come here to sit around League Two to be honest. The manager’s plans didn’t sound like sitting around 10th or 11th in this league.

‘We are going for promotion and I am not scared to say that.

‘Personally, I have come to win the league and if not I would take second or third. Anything less than that and I wouldn’t be too happy.

‘And I have a good feeling about this year.’

Roberts echoes the air of positivity created by Cook since his own arrival on the south coast.

From the very start, Pompey’s boss has insisted promotion is the goal – a stance which has not budged throughout the summer.

Roberts has been one of 11 pre-season recruits so far, with Matt Clarke’s loan spell also set to be confirmed before the August 8 League Two kick off.

In the meantime, the Blues have won three and drawn two of their friendly matches, with only the League One Gills to come.

Roberts was a key creative influence in the Chesterfield side which won the League Two title in 2014.

That form also earned him the division’s Player Of The Year title, as voted by managers from the league.

And he wants more success in his new surroundings.

Roberts added: ‘If this bunch of lads get the team up you will be remembered – and we want to be part of that.

‘The fans are crying out for promotion, they are still coming in their droves but how long can it last at League Two? It’s not a good league.

‘Looking at the players the manager has signed, most of them are a cut above League Two so he has done well to get them down.

‘To have a Portsmouth promotion on the CV would be fantastic.

‘If the manager can mould us the way he wants to, we should have enough at this level.’