Pompey striker Michael Smith sets 12-win target

Michael Smith. Picture: Joe Pepler

Michael Smith. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Michael Smith dismissed concerns about homesickness as he set a 12-win promotion target.

Pompey’s deadline day arrival knows his new side have to quickly hit a run of victories if they are to achieve their aim of going up automatically.

And the hitman believes 12 maximums from the final 19 games will be required to make the top three.

That would give Paul Cook’s side 81 points – the average total to finish third in League Two over the past 20 years.

Smith knows all about the division after spells at Accrington, AFC Wimbledon and Newport County.

He is looking to help the team get on a winning run now.

Smith said: ‘It’s massive now.

‘We have to put a run together.

‘It’s not the greatest league in the world to get out of.

‘We’ll need to win 12 games to secure automatic promotion, so every game is a final.

‘We have to take that attitude into Orient on Saturday.

‘I’m looking forward to training with the boys.

‘I’ll train with the boys Friday and then see what they’re about.

‘You can tell their quality, though.

‘I haven’t spoke to anyone here. I know Danny Hollands from my time at Charlton and I know about a few of the lads.

‘But I watch the Football League show and I’ve been watching clips on YouTube.’

Smith’s arrival on a 93-day loan on Monday evening saw a successful conclusion to Cook’s pursuit of the striker.

The Pompey boss has long been an admirer of the 6ft 4in hitman after working with him at Accrington.

It looked like that was going to prove a fruitless chase, however, with the indications Smith was keen to return to his native north east.

The Wallsend-born man explained a difficult loan spell at Barnsley underlined being at a successful club is more important than geography.

And he revealed he has family in the area to help him settle in.

Smith said: ‘With hindsight I would have done some things differently.

‘That’s life and football. I’m still young, just 24, so I can use it as experience.

‘I’m at the biggest club in the league by far. You can see that by the fanbase and history.

‘There’s more than enough to get out of this league.

‘The loan move at Barnsley, in football terms, wasn’t the best.

‘But the one thing to come out of it was being back home wasn’t the be all and end all.

‘I have to put my football first now. I need to kick on.

‘I’ve got family down this way,

‘They’re from Chichester and Selsey Bill. I know that area reasonably well.

‘So I know about the club and I’m glad to be here.

‘I’ve had a manager chase me and he definitely rates us. Hopefully I can prove him right.’

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