Reid’s quiet day shows Clarke’s progress

Matt Clarke. Picture: Joe Pepler
Matt Clarke. Picture: Joe Pepler
Jamal Lowe celebrates his goal against Scunthorpe. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey winger was a ‘wounded animal’ after dropping out of Football League

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MATT CLARKE’S Pompey emergence has been heralded after he snuffed out the threat of Reuben Reid.

Clarke turned in an excellent display as the Blues made it three wins out of three at Plymouth Argyle on Saturday.

I thought he had a good day and a good battle with him.

Leam Richardson

The 2-1 success at Home Park made it the best start to a season for 27 years.

Clarke’s performance was a standout as he shackled the dangerous Reid.

The Ipswich loanee never gave the Plymouth man a moment’s peace and made a number of timely interventions.

Pompey assistant manager Leam Richardson lauded his performance.

Richardson said: Matt was smashing.

‘Matt is one of those kids who’s improving.

‘He’s taken to the job like a duck to water.

‘Matt has played against Reuben Reid, who is one of the most prolific scorers through the leagues.

‘I thought he had a good day and a good battle with him.

‘With Christian (Burgess) alongside him, I thought they were both excellent.

‘He’s learning the game and was up against an excellent player. I thought he handled that quite well.’

Richardson admitted it’s not hard to overlook Clarke is just 18 after an impressive start to the season.

He feels there is a lot of work to do still with the imposing 6ft 5in defender.

But there is no doubt he is playing with maturity at present.

Richardson: ‘It’s certainly easy to forget he’s 18.

‘He’s playing above his years at the minute.

‘While we’ve got him from Ipswich, who have been very good to loan him to us, we have to improve him.

‘We have to give him the good habits to be a professional because he certainly has the ingredients to be a good player.’