Why 'tough' potential promotion battle with Ipswich, Sunderland, Sheffield Wednesday and co 'excites' Portsmouth's Sean Raggett

Sean Raggett reckons Pompey are involved in one of the toughest battles for League One promotion in years this season.

Wednesday, 25th August 2021, 1:06 pm

But the challenge and chance to come up against some ‘top quality players’ in pursuit of reaching the Championship is something that 'excites' the Blues centre-back.

Both former Pompey boss Paul Cook's Ipswich and Latics chief Leam Richardson have recruited heavily this summer, bringing in 16 and 11 new additions respectively as they bid to get out of the division.

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Meanwhile, Sheffield Wednesday and Wycombe have started strong after dropping down from the Championship last term, currently occupying the top-two places after four matches, sitting level on 10 points with Danny Cowley's third-placed Blues.

All signs at this early stage of the campaign are pointing to one of the most hard-fought battles to reach the second tier in years, which is a view shared by Pompey defender Raggett as well.

But the Blues defender insisted he'd much rather be coming up against 'top quality' opposition as opposed to 'lesser sides'.

Raggett said: ‘I think it’ll be a tough league, I think it’ll be the toughest this division has been for a while, to be honest.

Pompey centre-back Sean Raggett

‘I don’t think too much about the spending - I don’t know what clubs are spending.

‘But you want a competitive league, it excites me more than anything, when you see the quality of players some clubs are signing - I get excited by that.

‘You want to come up against good players and test yourself, so I’m excited by it.

‘In all due respect, you’d rather play against top quality players rather than lesser players, wouldn’t you?

‘You do want to test yourself. We have belief in all these players in the squad that we’re one of the top sides in this division.’

Pompey themselves have had a busy summer window, with Danny Cowley bringing in 12 new additions.

Given what has been a major overhaul, the Blues might have gone under the radar in the eyes of some to achieve promotion this season.

However, Raggett reiterated the belief remains within the squad they can get out of League One this season.

He said: ‘I’m not too worried about what other people are saying - I don’t think anyone is here.

‘We just focus on ourselves and get ourselves in the best position to challenge in this division.

‘Obviously people are going to talk and give their opinions - we’re not too worried about that - we’ll just focus on ourselves.’