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CLARKE HAPPY WITH BARTON PAIRING

29 December 2015

Makeshift back-line looked solid against Luton

Pompey’s defensive options were threadbare as 2015 came to a close against Luton at Fratton Park.

But Matt Clarke and stand-in centre-half Adam Barton produced an assured display to leave the visitors feeding on scraps.

Unfortunately, the Blues were unable to take one of the numerous chances they carved out at the other end, having to settle for a goalless draw.

They could be pleased with their defensive performance, however, with Clarke full of praise for midfielder Barton.

He said: “We had the ball for a lot of the game, so that makes things a bit easier for the guys at the back.

“But Adam is no mug. He’s a good player and knows what to do if he has to step in and help the team in defence.

“You could see from his performance that he can definitely play that role if needed because he’s good on the ball and can defend.

“I enjoyed playing alongside him. It was frustrating when I wasn’t in the team, so I’ve been happy to get more minutes on the pitch recently.”

Clarke was disappointed that Pompey were unable to convert their dominance into all three points.

He said: “We performed well as a team and should have won with the amount of chances we created.

“We kept the ball in the opposition half better than we have done in our previous few games, so that was encouraging.

“I think it was maybe just one of those days when you just can’t find a breakthrough whatever you do.

“If we’d have managed to score in the first half then I think we probably would have gone on to win comfortably.

“Luton defended well and all worked hard for the team, so I’m sure they went home happy with the point and the clean sheet.”

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