Pompey boss believes captaincy can improve Clarke

Matt Clarke leads Pompey out at Fleetwood. Picture: Mark Robinson
Matt Clarke leads Pompey out at Fleetwood. Picture: Mark Robinson
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At the age of 21 years, four months and 30 days, Pompey have a new skipper.

And Kenny Jackett is convinced Matt Clarke can flourish upon receiving the captain’s armband.

I think giving Matt the captaincy can bring out his personality and make him into a very good leader

Kenny Jackett

The central defender, who last week signed a new deal, was handed the responsibility for last night’s trip to Fleetwood.

With Nathan Thompson suspended and Brett Pitman and Gareth Evans injured, the former Ipswich player was the next in line for Jackett.

Christian Burgess, 26, was the oldest player in the Blues’ squad during the 2-1 victory at Highbury Stadium.

Yet it was his defensive partner Clarke who skippered the side.

And Pompey’s boss is convinced the honour can only improve the outstanding youngster.

Jackett said: ‘Obviously we have Pitman, Evans and Thompson out but Matt has committed his future to us and been excellent this season.

‘I have been really pleased with him and also feel the captaincy will help bring him on and improve his leadership skills.

‘He is vocal to a degree but he’s a leader with his enthusiasm and his quality.

‘He’s a good player. He’s one of our better players, definitely.

‘I think giving him the captaincy can bring out his personality and make him into a very good leader.

‘It can definitely help him. Responsibility can help people, Matt having responsibility will be good.

‘I can’t remember too many young captains at clubs I’ve managed but circumstances dictate.

‘I was very pleased to give Matt the chance. I thought he deserved it and also feel it will help him in terms of his progress.’

Pitman was appointed Pompey’s skipper at the season’s start following his arrival from Ipswich.

When starting games, he has remained captain but when injury has dictated he is out of the side, others have stood in.

Vice-captain Gareth Evans has taken the armband on occasions.

However, he is currently out of the side with a hamstring injury – the same problem which has sidelined Pitman.

Thompson is another to have been given the honour during the current campaign, yet he is presently serving a four-match suspension.

Last season Ben Close was named as captain in a 1-0 Checkatrade Trophy win over Bristol Rovers.

He was aged 20 years, three months and one day in the November 2016 fixture.