Michael Smith’s work ethic is winning around the Fratton faithful.
That is the belief of Leam Richardson, who is convinced the striker’s tireless running is creating a favourable impression.
If you show that work ethic and that hard-working attitude then the fans will stay right behind youLeam Richardson
The on-loan forward netted his second goal in 11 appearances on Saturday against Carlisle.
It capped a hard-working display from Smith who operated in a lone striking role for Paul Cook’s side.
By persistently closing down keeper Mark Gillespie and the Cumbrians’ defenders, the visitors were hampered in attempts to play from the back.
And Richardson insists the improving Smith should receive credit for his endeavours when leading from the front.
Pompey’s assistant manager said: ‘I always relate it to Leeds United fans – Pompey supporters will support you if they see a work ethic.
‘Quality-wise they know every now and again the ball will bounce off you, or run away from you.
‘But if you show that work ethic and that hard-working attitude then they will stay right behind you.
‘Let’s not forget, these fans are paying money earned from working hard all week to watch their team in action.
‘As a player you must also put that work ethic in.
‘If Michael Smith closes the keeper and full-backs down then he will win the fans over and you are also allowed a bad touch.
‘He never stopped working against Carlisle – and fair credit to him for that.
‘He hasn’t played a lot of games this year and is still finding his level of fitness – but he is putting in a lot of effort.’
Smith is currently on a 93-day loan until the start of next month, returning before the visit of Northampton.
– NEIL ALLEN