Pompey loan verdict: Smith suited to League One

Michael Smith. Picture: Sharon Lucey
Michael Smith. Picture: Sharon Lucey
Bradley Lethbridge. Picture: Colin Farmery

Pompey Academy sign year off as loan youngsters exit

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We spoke to the Northampton Guardian & Echo’s Jeremy Casey to get the lowdown on Michael Smith’s loan spell at Northampton Town.

Here’s what he had to say about the striker...

Michael Smith didn’t score as many goals as he would have liked during his spell at Northampton.

But he impressed with his build-up play, his work-rate and effort.

The fans took to him straight away and he impressed.

Smith hadn’t scored many for Portsmouth, but he’d scored goals previously at Swindon and Newport.

When he arrived, the club weren’t scoring goals and were struggling a bit.

He came in and added a bit of youth and vitality to the frontline.

Smith was a useful spark up front with a bit of energy.

As long as players are giving 100-per-cent effort, Cobblers fans will take to them.

His link-up play was good and he scored three goals.

The one frustrating thing for him was before he bagged his first goal, he missed some really good chances.

A couple were one-on-ones and a couple hit the post.

You could see the frustration, but that was probably because he was on such a poor run at Pompey.

Just as he was starting to get more confident, he got injured and was out for the rest of the season.

Alex Revell had been out injured and then come back when Smith was out.

I think they missed Michael when he was out.

When he wasn’t there, they lacked a bit of energy and someone who could run down the channels.

He was a work horse and had a bit of pace compared to Revell and Marc Richards.

Smith may well be better suited to League One.

I spoke to him when he arrived about the physicality of League Two and he was happy about it. But he looked at home in League One and was not out of place.

The one issue with him was the fact he didn’t score as many as he should.

But he is still only 25 and learning the game. It might be one of those things that if he starts the season well, he can kick on from there.

I would have him back at Northampton, but he’s under contract at Pompey.

Smith scored on cracking header against Charlton. It was a classic centre-forward header.

He would certainly be an option but all the loan players have gone back.

Smith was in a team that struggled to create chances.

And once he was injured, that was even worse.

Perhaps being less pressurised helped him at Northampton.