Cobblers boss Edinburgh delighted with attacking balance as he lands Pompey striker Smith

New Cobblers loan signing Michael Smith has been a regular starter for Portsmouth this season
New Cobblers loan signing Michael Smith has been a regular starter for Portsmouth this season

Cobblers boss Justin Edinburgh is delighted to have captured the signing of Portsmouth striker Michael Smith on loan until the end of the season.

With the deal completed just hours before the closing of the January transfer window, the 25-year-old becomes Edinburgh’s third signing since taking over as Town manager, and the sixth to have joined the club since the turn of the year.

Justin Edinburgh

Justin Edinburgh

Smith is a 6ft 4in front man who has been a regular in the Portsmouth first team for the past three months, scoring three times in their past 12 Sky Bet League Two games.

He started their most recent game, Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat to Exeter City, but manager Paul Cook has allowed him out on loan after he secured the loan signing of Preston North End striker Eoin Doyle.

It will be the second time Edinburgh has worked with Smith, as the player also spent two months on loan at Newport County while he was in charge at Rodney Parade, and the Cobblers boss feels he provides a different attacking option to what he already has at his disposal.

“I worked with Michael at Newport so I know all about his qualities,” said Edinburgh.

His signing gives us a good group of strikers for the final three months of the season, I think they balance each other well and give us some good options, both in terms of starting games and from the bench

Cobblers boss Justin Edinburgh

“While I have been really pleased with how we have looked an attacking threat in the last couple of games, with the recent injuries to Sam Hoskins and Alex Revell, I felt we needed another option up front particularly with some Saturday-Tuesday games in the coming weeks, and Michael is ideal for us.

“He is a good size, he has a good goalscoring record and he has an excellent work ethic.

“He works very hard for the team, he can lead the line well but he is also very good with the ball at his feet.

“His signing gives us a good group of strikers for the final three months of the season, I think they balance each other well and give us some good options, both in terms of starting games and from the bench.”

Smith joins Keshi Anderson, Luke Williams, Neal Eardley, Hiram Boateng and Gregg Wylde as the new faces brought in to reshape the Sixfields squad, and Edinburgh is delighted at the strengthening that has been done by him and predecessor Rob Page in the transfer window.

“This has always been a tough window to do business in, but I think we have added quality with the six additions,” said Edinburgh, who also paid tribute to the input of chairman Kelvin Thomas.

“The chairman said there would be funds available when I came here and I am pleased we have been able to strengthen the squad for the remainder of the season.”

One problem Edinburgh now has is that Cobblers now have six loan players on their books in the shape of Smith, Anderson, Wylde, Williams, Boateng and Lewin Nyatanga, and only five can be selected on any given match day.