DAVID James believes a return to the glory days is firmly on the horizon for John Mousinho’s flying Portsmouth side.

James shone in the Harry Redknapp-led team who became Premier League mainstays in the 2000s and lifted the FA Cup as a Pompey player in 2008.

The current crop lost their grip on League One top spot this weekend following a 4-0 home defeat against Blackpool but the shot-stopper has backed them to earn one of the three available promotion spots come May.

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“This is the season Portsmouth go up into the Championship and hopefully then up again,” he said.

“As a Luton fan, I use them as the example of a team who can go up through the leagues in quick succession.

“For Portsmouth, it’s about success this season, getting to the Championship and then who knows, they could be back in the Premier League and back to the glory days.

“I bumped into a few Pompey fans recently and they are buzzing at the moment. In typical football fan fashion, there is some pessimism in their voices, saying it’s still early days, but to be top of the table at this stage is fantastic.”

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James has switched his attention from saving shots to saving footwear in recent years, as the co-creator of Football Rebooted alongside Utilita Energy.

The project, established in 2021, aims to prevent at least a million pairs of boots from ending up in landfill and save 136,000 tonnes of carbon – the same as taking 7,000 cars off the road for a year.

The 53-cap England international converted his own vehicle from diesel to rapeseed oil during a four-season stint at Fratton Park and has continued to champion environmental causes since his retirement, even using boiling water rather than milk for his cereal.

“I can’t even think of a number to put on how many boots I had as a player,” he said.

“Had I been aware of upcoming environmental issues, the idea of donating them rather than throwing them away would have been a lot more useful.

“Creating football’s biggest environmental movement sounded a bit optimistic two years ago but it is going really well and the need will always be there. We are contributing to people staying in the game and continuing to do what they love.”

Football Rebooted is football’s biggest environmental movement, preventing one million pairs of football boots ending up on landfill. Visit https://footballrebooted.co.uk/ to find out more