Clarke: Pompey wary of hungry Hawks

Matt Clarke believes his side will be handed a stern test of their credentials as they make their annual trip to Westleigh Park.

Friday, 6th July 2018, 2:39 pm
Updated Monday, 16th July 2018, 5:13 pm
Pompey defender Matt Clarke. Picture: Joe Pepler

Lee Bradbury's men are preparing for their maiden season in the National League after winning the National League South title on the final day.

Pompey picked up a 6-0 win in the fixture last summer, but Clarke isn't placing too much stock in the scoreline ahead of the game.

He said: 'It's a game that happens every year and as they've come through the leagues and now in the National League it's going to be a good test.

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'It's one we will all have to rise to, especially this early in pre-season. 

'They've got some good players and some of our lads know some of their lads and they're a good team and have to be ready for that.

'Sometime in pre-season the scoreline isn't important. Even if we win 5-0 the gaffer may be looking at it thinking we're still well off it. 

'Or sometimes we might play really well and only win 1-0 or draw 0-0, but that's not the end of the world.

'It's more about us making relationships on the pitch and getting minutes on the pitch.'

Pompey will also tackle some familiar faces tomorrow as they aim to keep former striker Nicke Kabamba quiet.

And new Blues coach, Paul Robinson, will be part of the Hawks defence.

Clarke added: 'Nicke is someone we obviously know and we're fond of. 

'We all like Kabamba and all respect what a good player he is.

'It'll be a good test and a bit of a funny one playing your friend but that's football and when the whistle goes it's business as usual. 

'Robbo will be professional the way he acts when he's a coach or playing for the Hawks, and it'll just be like playing against any other player when we're out there.'