Loanee open to staying at Pompey

Matt Clarke. Picture: Joe Pepler
Matt Clarke. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey hero Paul Walsh

Pompey favourites reunite for Baffins’ stand launch

  • Clarke has made 16 appearances since arriving from Ipswich
  • The 19-year-old appeared as a substitute four times in the Championship last season
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Matt Clarke is open to remaining at Pompey until the end of the season.

But the loanee from Ipswich Town is eager for more first-team action should an extension be initiated.

It is up to both clubs, I need to play football and improve myself as a player so if it works out I would love to stay here

Matt Clarke

The central defender returned to Paul Cook’s side for Saturday’s 1-0 victory over Accrington Stanley in the FA Cup.

It was a first start in 10 matches for Clarke, who previously lined-up in the 3-1 success at Cambridge United on October 10.

Adam Webster has subsequently established himself at the heart of the defence alongside Christian Burgess.

The loan spell of Clarke, who started Pompey’s opening 12 League Two fixtures this season, is up on January 3.

And the youngster admitted he is enjoying his Fratton Park time.

He said: ‘I’ve really enjoyed it, loved every minute.

‘Obviously it has been a bit frustrating not being in the team but you have to be patient and wait for your chance.

‘The gaffer has told me my time will come and that I’m not going to sit on the sidelines forever.

‘I’ve just got to be patient and wait for my turn.

‘My loan is up at the start of January and nothing has been discussed yet.

‘It is up to both clubs. I need to play football and improve myself as a player, so if it works out I’d love to stay here.

‘I speak to Ipswich every now and then and they are happy I am enjoying my time here and enjoying my football.

‘I was definitely going to go out on loan somewhere this year, if it happened to be non-league then so be it.

‘I just needed to get out there because last year I sat on the bench a lot for Ipswich.

‘This year the plan was to go out and get some games.

‘It’s up to both clubs what happens next, we’ll see where we are, see where the plan is for the next half of the season.

‘I would like to think I am ready for first-team football whenever needed.’

Such was Clarke’s impressive impact upon his summer arrival, skipper Paul Robinson departed to join AFC Wimbledon.

So far the 19-year-old has made 16 appearances and has been pleased with his performances.

He added: ‘I started the first 12 matches and that’s the disappointing thing, playing every week and then you are on the bench not knowing where your next game is going to be.

‘I would like to think I have done all right but I am young, still inexperienced and would like to improve.

‘Maybe at the end of that run in the team I was a bit leggy and not as sharp as I was at the season’s start, so I have to make sure I’m fit for every game.

‘I don’t like to play the age card.

‘I’d like to think I am ready to play every game if needed.

‘Obviously it’s frustrating but that’s football, in a 28-man squad you cannot expect to play every game.’