Paul Downing not feeling any extra pressure after replacing Matt Clarke at Portsmouth

Paul Downing insists there's no added pressure on him after replacing Matt Clarke at Pompey.

Saturday, 22nd June 2019, 7:00 am
Updated Sunday, 23rd June 2019, 3:36 pm

The centre-back completed his expected free transfer to Fratton Park yesterday, signing a three-year deal after being released by Blackburn.

Downing’s arrival was announced an hour after Matt Clarke’s protracted move to Brighton for an undisclosed fee was confirmed.

The former Ipswich man was regarded as the Blues’ prized asset, leaving Downing with big boots to fill.

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But the 27-year-old stressed he’ll not play any differently under such pressure – confident his own qualities would shine through.

Downing said: ‘We are obviously different players and different characters.

‘I don’t feel like I’m entitled to a place and I’ll bring my own qualities I think I can bring to the team.

‘I don’t see any extra pressure. I’m going to come in and enjoy it and play my normal game. Hopefully then everyone can see what a good player that I am.

Paul Downing has signed for Pompey on a three-year deal Picture: Colin Farmery/Portsmouth FC

‘Everyone has their own qualities. I don’t know him (Clarke) too well but he’s obviously done very well to get a move to the Premier League – well done to him.

‘But now my job is to concentrate on myself and get settled in. I’m a new player and there’s a lot more for me to focus on.

‘Speaking to the manager, we’re going to have competition for places – you’re going to have that at every club pushing for promotion.

‘It’s going to be down to me to train hard, catch the manager’s eye, make sure I have the jersey for the first game at Shrewsbury and then keep it by putting in good performances.’

Downing moves to a Pompey side with designs on winning promotion.

And after having his appetite whetted at Blackburn, the defender is again craving Championship football.

He added: ‘It’s a massive club and they have ambitions to get out the league.

‘That is what I want to be part of.

‘I played a handful of Championship games for Blackburn last season and know what a great league the next one is.

‘But first and foremost we’ve got to get out of this one and hopefully we’re in and around the top two.’