East: Pompey can follow Gills’ example

Danny East, centre, with team-mates Johnny Ertl and Sonny Bradley, right. Picture: Joe Pepler
Danny East, centre, with team-mates Johnny Ertl and Sonny Bradley, right. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey were crowned league champions on this day in 1949. Picture: Pompey History Society

On this day picture gallery: Pompey crowned league champions

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Danny East knows what a promotion-winning squad from League Two looks like and also what it feels like to be a part of it.

And despite Pompey’s relatively slow start to the campaign, he has seen no reason to suggest Guy Whittingham’s side can’t emulate that achievement.

The former Hull trainee spent loan spells at both Northampton Town and Gillingham last season.

East enjoyed a successful stint at Northampton for the first half of the campaign before the Cobblers went on to come up narrowly short of earning a place in League One after defeat in the play-off final to Bradford City.

But the versatile 21-year-old then added depth to the Gills squad for the final month or so of the campaign as the Kent club marched to the title in style.

It was a season of success for East as his parent club, Hull City, also earned promotion to the Premier League before he completed his summer switch to Fratton Park.

Some predicted a League Two stroll for Pompey and might have adjusted their views after the first seven games.

But there have been definite signs they are well capable of producing a run to get themselves back in the mix at such an early stage of the season.

And East believes Pompey have what it takes to follow in the footsteps of last term’s champions.

He said: ‘When I came down to sign, the idea was to get promoted.

‘Everyone I spoke to said “you’ve got a great chance of going straight back up going there”. And I still believe we can do that.

‘Gillingham were a good side. They were so organised and together and it was good to be part of that.

‘They had been together for quite a long time but we have got just as much quality as they had.

‘I think we are in a false position in the table at the moment.

‘I’ve been around League Two for a couple of seasons but I feel we have so much quality in the dressing room and we should be higher in the table than we are at the moment.

‘I think we’ve played well but a few of the results haven’t quite gone our way just yet.

‘But we have seen enough signs in the games we have played and we will improve the more times we play together if we all keep on working hard.’

After the 2-1 win at Burton Albion last weekend, Pompey could fire themselves into the top 10 with a home success over third-placed Fleetwood Town on Saturday.

And East is now targeting a run of form to get the Blues right back in the promotion hunt.

He said: ‘It’s been a bit up and down so far this season but things are starting to gel a bit more.

‘We’ll keep going and keep improving.

‘Plenty of teams have gone on a run and come from nowhere to get themselves up there.

‘It happens all the time in League Two and if we win a couple of games in a row, we are back in it straight away so there is no reason to panic.’