‘I’m sick of the grief he gets' - Often-criticised and 'under-rated' Portsmouth player backed as he answers Blues SOS

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Sean Raggett answered Pompey's SOS following Regan Poole's season-finishing knee injury

‘I’m sick of the grief he gets’. ‘It’s just a cheap shot’ - they’re the words The News’ Jordan Cross used as he launched a passionate defence of Pompey defender Sean Raggett this week.

The Blues centre-half has always found himself the subject of debate among sections of supporters, who often question and ridicule his rugged style of play. It’s a topic of conversation that has been resurrected in the aftermath of Regan Poole’s season-ending ACL injury, with Raggett called upon to fill the void left by his defensive team-mate.

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Simply put, the 29-year-old is considered not good enough by many to play the progressive style of football we’ve been witnessing this year under head coach John Mousinho.

Cross, however, feels the disparaging commentary is unfair. He strongly believes Raggett - who scored the Blues’ opener in Saturday’s impressive 3-0 win at Northampton - has more than proved his worth during his 213 appearances for the club over the past four-and-a-half seasons and has the capabilities to adapt his game.

Speaking on the latest episode of Pompey Talk, The News’ senior Pompey writer said: ‘I’m sick of the grief he gets. It’s undeserved, it’s unfair, he’s an outstanding professional. I think he’s under-rated and if you speak to the lads at Pompey, you won’t find a fitter, faster player at Pompey. He’s always at the front for fitness and distance runs, 

‘We know he’s got those rugged skills, we know he’s got power at both ends of the pitch, we know he’s got that physical strength that you need at this level, but he showed on Saturday that he can be really progressive with his football. Again, it’s hard, because you balance him up against Regan Poole, so you naturally feel Pompey are a bit weaker - but that’s not to downplay what Sean Raggett can do.

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‘On Tuesday against Burton, he hit one diagonal ball about 60 yards to Abu Kamara, who was having a really good half, and I was like - if Regan Poole does that, everyone is purring. But no-one bats an eye-lid because it’s Sean Raggett.

‘He’s shown that he can play out. It’s not the type of dynamism you’re going to have with Regan Poole, who we know can move forward really effectively -  but don’t dismiss Sean Raggett and his capabilities. 

‘He gets unfairly tagged, as that kind of agricultural type of player. But it’s unfair and he’s shown that over an extended period. I think it’s just a cheap shot, actually, when he gets the grief that he does from certain sections.’

Raggett has started Pompey’s past four games, following the injury picked up by Poole in the FA Cup defeat to Chesterfield. His only other league start this season came against Port Vale, when Poole was serving a one-match ban.

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The former Norwich and Lincoln defender had to play second fiddle to the recently-capped Wales international, after being one of the first names on the Pompey team sheet in recent seasons. Despite his impressive response to Poole’s injury, the Blues are still likely to bring in another centre-half during the January transfer window.

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