Striker interested in Pompey return

Michael Smith, second left, celebrates Kal Naismith's goal. Picture: Joe Pepler

Michael Smith, second left, celebrates Kal Naismith's goal. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Michael Smith remains open to a Pompey return after signing off at Hartlepool.

Paul Cook’s side booked a play-off date with Plymouth Argyle after winning 2-0 at Victoria Park on Saturday.

I’ve got to put my career first – which I did coming to Portsmouth. I would go anywhere, I just want to play football and win things

Paul Cook

There was no farewell goal for Smith, who featured for 73 minutes on the day his 93-day emergency loan ended.

Instead Kal Naismith and substitute Conor Chaplin netted in the second half to finish their League Two away campaign with a victory.

Smith has now been given permission from parent club Swindon Town to go on holiday, despite a week of the campaign remaining.

The Robins have also activated a 12-month option to keep him at the County Ground until the summer of 2017.

Yet with an uncertain future, he has intimated he would be interested in a return to Fratton Park.

He said: ‘It was a frustrating first half of the season before I came here – and I have loved it since.

‘My time at Portsmouth got off to a slow start but I found my feet and have felt settled in the last month-and-a-half. It has been really enjoyable.

‘As a striker you need a run of games to start getting the goals and I managed to get that consistency.

‘It’s just a shame I have to stop and my season is over.

‘I honestly don’t know what is going to happen in the future but I would consider coming back.

‘I’ve really enjoyed my time here. I’ve been treated well and the relationship with the fans and players has been really good.

‘I rang Swindon last week, they have nothing to play for, are safe and can’t get to the play-offs, so the manager said unless they have an injury crisis with the strikers then I could go and have a holiday.

‘They are going to be taking up their option on me, so I have another year.

‘I guess I’ll be back there for pre-season, I’ll have to wait and see.

‘I have been focusing on Portsmouth, so haven’t really sat down and thought about things.

‘That is a conversation I am going to have to have with my agent.

‘It has been said I want to move back home to the Newcastle area but it’s not the be-all and end-all. I’ve got to put my career first – which I did coming to Portsmouth.

‘I would go anywhere, I just want to play football and win things.’

Smith scored four goals in 16 games following his arrival at the start of February.

He netted in wins against Bristol Rovers, Carlisle and AFC Wimbledon.

And his Newcastle-based parents watched his Blues farewell on Saturday.

He added: ‘The first 15 minutes we did alright and at the end of second half it got a bit scrappy but we thoroughly deserved the win.

‘We went to a 4-4-2 in the second half and that allowed Kal and Gazza to get involved in the game a lot more. It worked.’