Matt Clarke’s happy to stay put

Matt Clarke. Picture: Joe Pepler
Matt Clarke. Picture: Joe Pepler
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MATT CLARKE has committed his loan future to Pompey.

But the defender has set a target of playing more football at Fratton Park over the second half of the season.

I think the situation has changed in the past month.

Matt Clarke

Clarke’s temporary stay with the Blues comes to a close after Saturday’s clash with Crawley.

Pompey boss, Paul Cook, is staying tight-lipped over the futures of his loan players.

But Clarke revealed discussions are taking place over extending his agreement at present.

And the 19-year-old is expecting them to conclude successfully over the coming days.

He said: ‘My last game is Crawley.

‘It is between the two clubs, the managers will speak and see what the best plan is moving forwards and hopefully that is to stay here and play football.

‘I think the situation has changed in the past month.

‘It would be before January 2, sorted this week and done and dusted so we can move forward.

‘I try not to think about it too much.’

Clarke has made 18 starts plus two substitute appearances since arriving from Ipswich in the summer.

After starting games regularly early on, he has been in and out of the side as Cook alternates his options at the back.

With Christian Burgess being injured he is a certain starter at present, however.

Clarke stated the importance of playing matches from the outset for the Blues. The loanee underlined that being left out of the starting XI is no good to him.

Clarke said: ‘I am here to play games, without being disrespectful I am not here to be a part of the squad. I’m here to play football and learn my trade.

‘Playing games is very important for me.

‘Burge (Christian Burgess) getting injured is horrible, it’s football, that’s the way it goes sometimes, you have just got to take it as it comes.

‘That happened to him, it could happen to me or anyone one day.

‘It’s hard but you move on and you take it as it comes.

‘The squad is very strong and we all want to be in the starting XI, but obviously he can’t pick us all and we can’t all be kept happy 100 per cent of the time

‘I just keep myself fit and ready to go, and when I get my chance I have to take it.

‘I am doing the best I can, obviously the three goals at Leyton Orient weren’t ideal, but it’s just a learning curve for me.

‘I am here to learn, I am not saying I am going to be flawless every game, I have just got to take every game as it comes and do my best for the team.

‘When I first came here, being in front of a big crowd and not used to it can be a bit intimidating, but I would like to think I am settled now and the occasion doesn’t really get to me any more.

‘With experience I was always going to improve.’