Gaffer: Matt Clarke shouldn’t be in this division with Portsmouth

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Gaffer for a Day Matt Reeder, aged 44 from Harrogate, delivers his verdict on Pompey’s 1-0 win at Bradford City.  

Top against bottom. Not quite that simple, though.

Matt Clarke was again in the thick of the action at Bradford - and Matt Reeder's man of the match. Picture: Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com

Matt Clarke was again in the thick of the action at Bradford - and Matt Reeder's man of the match. Picture: Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com

We got the early goal, but it was more like a dogged hard-working performance rather than a classy play-them-off-the-park display.

You expect a home team to come at you, regardless of their league position, but how many times have we actually played really well this season? Imagine what will happen when we do.

Individually, players are putting in performances. On Saturday they worked their socks off, chased the ball, the work ethic was immense. However, we haven’t really clicked.

It’s November, we have lost one league game, but haven’t hit our straps yet. Kenny Jackett has them playing in a manner that, even if not performing that well, we are still winning games.

What did you make of Hope Akpan’s miss?

Being just one goal ahead going into the final 10 minutes, Pompey fans usually expect the worse.

Then Akpan is clean through in stoppage time and puts it over the bar. Suddenly we are all thinking ‘We’ve got this now’!

It was awful, a ridiculous miss, the guy blazed it over the bar, although Craig MacGillivray came out to make it more difficult for the midfielder, so let’s give him credit.

Akpan should have scored, though. And we shouldn’t have even been in that situation, the game should have been wrapped up long before, we were the better side.

Another crucial goal from Gareth Evans too.

I really like Evans, he gives us that set-piece expertise and is always there ready to get a goal.

He has that sort of Frank Lampard thing where he arrives late in the box. The number of crucial goals he gets is impressive and, for me, should be one of the first names on the team sheet.

With his experience, he is crucial to making that young front four tick and is already a cult hero, the fans love him.

The celebration when he scored that goal showed what it meant to him. He wears his heart on his sleeve and must be given a new deal.

Who was your star man?

It has to be Matt Clarke, without any doubt, he was immense, a class above.

If there were any scouts watching Ronan Curtis they would have left thinking about Clarke. What is he even doing playing for us in this division?

Perhaps he is League One’s best-kept secret, although shouldn’t be, surely everyone can see his qualities?

We’ll struggle to keep hold of him if we don't go up. Players like Clarke, Jamal Lowe and even MacGillivray are too good for this division.

Craig MacGillivray 8

Anton Walkes 6

Jack Whatmough 7

Matt Clarke 9

Lee Brown 7

Tom Naylor 8

Ben Thompson 7

Jamal Lowe 6

Gareth Evans 7

Ronan Curtis 6

Oli Hawkins 6