Surprised he's not in the Championship: Former Rotherham United man on halting Portsmouth flop and ex-Barnsley, Charlton Athletic and Swindon Town forward smashing in League One goals

Pompey have been warned they have to guard against being terrorised by a Fratton flop at Rotherham.

Friday, 15th October 2021, 4:55 am

And Sean Raggett admitted his surprise in-demand Michael Smith isn’t already causing nightmares for Championship defences, as he bids to silence one of the division’s most dangerous front men.

The in-form defender will be out to stop his former club on Saturday, as Danny Cowley’s men take on a Millers side in powerful form.

Raggett spent the season before his Pompey arrival in 2019s on loan at the New York Stadium from Norwich City, where he was team-mates with Smith.

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The Geordie endured a difficult time at Fratton Park, when he arrived on loan in 2016 and eventually agreed a two-year deal from Swindon.

Smith returned seven goals in 34 league appearances along with a hat-trick in the EFL Trophy at Yeovil, but faced plenty of flak from Pompey fans.

After 10 Championship goals last term as his side were eventually relegated, the 29-year-old has already helped himself to eight goals this term.

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Michael Smith has been in outstanding form for Rotherham (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

Raggett knows what kind of challenge lies in wait for him and his defensive team-mates, as they aim to shackle Smith.

He said: ‘He’s a very good player - very good player.

‘I don’t know too much about his time here, but I know he’s a very tough player to go up against.

‘Us players at the back are going to have to to be right on our games to stop him, because he’s had a good start to the season.

Michael Smith scored 10 goals in 37 appearances for Pompey before departing in August 2017. Picture: Joe Pepler

‘He’s real top-class centre-forward in this league.

‘I’m not surprised at all to hear talk about Championship clubs wanting him.

‘In fact, I think I’m more surprised he’s not already in the Championship.

‘I was there two or three years ago and I thought he was going to get a move to a Championship club back then.

‘He’s a very strong player we will have to watch carefully.’

The Rotherham game will awaken memories of testing season in Raggett’s career, after the former non-league defender endured horrible injury issues in 2018-19 campaign.

A ruptured ATFL ligament in his ankle, broken ankle and torn knee ligament were suffered at Wigan in September, before returning and suffering another broken ankle at Leeds in January.

Despite those horrors limiting him to just 10 appearances, Raggett also remembers good times at the club.

He said: ‘It’s actually mixed memories for me.

‘I had some really good games and memories, but I also had two bad injuries and my time was marred by that.

‘It’s a great club, though, with great people so I would never have a bad word to say about Rotherham. It’s just unfortunate I had two bad injuries.

‘I’ve good friends there still and there’s good people. They looked after me well when I had my injuries.

‘They are up there every year they are in this division.

‘It’s a team we have to be looking to beat if we want to be right up there at the end of the season.

‘When I was there it was a really close-knit group of lads, and I’m sure it will be the same now. It’s going to be a tough game.’

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