Portsmouth defender vows to continue entertaining Fratton faithful  

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MATT CLARKE has vowed to continue entertaining the Fratton faithful with his marauding runs forward.

But the Pompey centre-back insists he won’t take any risks when he does charge into opposition territory with the ball at his feet. 

Matt Clarke goes on a charge forward against Accrington. Picture: Joe Pepler

Matt Clarke goes on a charge forward against Accrington. Picture: Joe Pepler

Clarke’s trademark forays are a source of many attacks for Kenny Jackett’s side. 

The 22-year-old has the ability to effortlessly glide his way past opponents – and gets Blues fans off their seats in the process. 

Last term the highly-rated defender scored a memorable goal against Crawley in the Checkatrade Trophy following one of his stylish runs.

Clarke revealed his attacks are always opportunistic.

And the Ipswich academy graduate believes he can continue to be a positive outlet for the League One leaders going forward.

‘It's something I have brought into my game a bit more as I have played more,’ said Clarke.

‘It’s not something I necessarily go into games looking to do, thinking I’m going to do this or that.

‘But when it does arise it can be a positive outlet for us.

‘Usually, forwards aren’t known for tackling.

‘Whenever they offer me a little bit too much room or dive into the tackle then I’ll see an opportunity and take it.

‘Sometimes I sort of think “why didn’t I shoot when I did that?” However, it’s something that, if it can keep having positives on our attacks, then I’ll continue to do.

‘It’s not necessarily just goals that they create. You’ve got to look at the bigger picture because sometimes it can create throw-ins, corners and crosses for us.

‘You’ve got to look at how it can help us as a team. There are a lot of positives that they can give us as a side.’

Clarke revealed Jackett is also happy for him to keep driving his way towards the opponent's goal. 

But the defender is certain he will never charge forward if there's a chance it will leave Pompey vulnerable on the counter-attack.

‘I wouldn’t say nobody can stop me – it's not as dramatic as that,’ added Clarke. 

‘If I know someone is asking me to do it and an attacker is sucking me into it then I’ll do it.

‘But if there is any risk involved then I won’t. 

‘The gaffer probably has the same perspective as me – if there's risk involved then don't do it. There have been times where it hasn't been on for me. It’s something I don't focus on massively but it comes with opportunity.’