Portsmouth boss Danny Cowley explains miraculous Sean Raggett recovery - and why he substituted him against Burton

A week ago he was expected to miss the remainder of the season – instead Pompey’s warrior was a shock Fratton Park presence.

Sunday, 11th April 2021, 1:00 pm

While Danny Cowley insists Sean Raggett’s withdrawal on 53 minutes was for ‘attacking’ reasons rather than any further issue over his cheekbone injury.

The previous Saturday, Raggett was substituted late at Wigan after heading the back of Callum Lang’s head.

At the time it was feared he had sustained a fractured cheekbone, ruling him out of Pompey’s play-off push.

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Amazingly, however, Raggett remained in Pompey’s side for the visit of Burton, which unfolded into a 2-1 defeat.

‘It’s not a broken cheekbone, it’s deep bruising and quite a nasty cut,’ explained Cowley.

‘Sean trained on Friday, headed about 30 and, in his words, “I had a lot, lot worse and played”. He was happy to, he’s a tough kid.

‘We had a duty of care for him - and I explained that to him. I’m not so bothered about his looks, but I’m bothered about his health!

Sean Raggett was surprisingly given the go-ahead to start against Burton on Saturday. Picture: Joe Pepler

‘He came through training well yesterday and Bobby cleared him. He was happy for him to play.

‘They glued it and a bit of protection with the cut.’

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Raggett didn’t complete the game, however.

He made way for Rasmus Nicolaisen on 53 minutes as the Blues attempted to chase down a two-goal deficit at the time.

And Cowley explained the substitution as an ‘attacking’ one.

He added: ‘People like Sean and Tom Naylor are key players for us, but when you are chasing a game sometimes you need something different and have to be quite brave.

‘They have thrown so many balls into the box and they are two of your best headers of the ball, but by that time we had maybe 80-90 per cent possession, so you need to play the players that suit the way the game was unfolding.

‘We had all of the ball, so it made total sense.

‘We think of Rasmus as an attacking sub. He is, you watch him, how he dribbles, drives in, he has the left-foot balance – and I think it showed how he finished the game.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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