Defender wants Pompey to grab top-six challenge by scruff of the neck

Matt Clarke. Picture: Joe Pepler
Matt Clarke. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Matt Clarke wants Pompey to grab their play-off challenge by the scruff of the neck.

Despite a solitary victory in 2018, the Blues are just four points away from the top six.

They travel to Southend today bidding to bounce back after a 2-1 defeat to Blackburn on Tuesday.

Clarke admits it’s crucial Pompey hit a winning streak.

He believes that would inject an ‘arrogance’ into Kenny Jackett’s side.

The centre-back said: ‘No-one has really grabbed it by the scruff of the neck and cemented their place (in the top six).

‘That’s good news for us in many respects.

‘Four points is all it is but you’re not going to get in there by winning one and losing one.

‘That isn’t the form that’s going to get you in there. You’ve got to be winning games back-to-back.

‘We’d like to be in a position where we have that sort of confidence and almost arrogance in a way that we’re here to get a job done and you’re going to do well to stop us.

‘We’re trying to be positive and thinking if we get on a run we can easily catch them.’

Southend are one of League One’s in-form sides.

They’ve been given a much-needed fillip since Chris Powell took over from Phil Brown.

The Shrimpers have won three and drawn one under their new boss and last weekend defeated title-challenging Wigan 3-1.

Clarke is expecting a tough battle against today’s hosts.

He added: ‘They’re a team in good form.

‘They’ve got a good side and good players so it’ll be a good test, but it’s hopefully one we can come out on top of.

‘You can never underestimate this league.

‘Wigan were flying, no-one could stop them and then they lose at Southend.

‘We’ll go about it as professional as we can.’