Defender understands why he has had to wait for chance
He has had to be content with a place among the substitutes for the past couple of months.
But Matt Clarke has got no complaints about the decision to pair Adam Webster with Christian Burgess at the heart of Pompey’s defence.
The on-loan Ipswich teenager was handed a start in Saturday’s Emirates FA Cup triumph over Accrington, however.
And Clarke was delighted to be back on the pitch and helping the Blues progress to the third round.
He said: “It’s obviously nice to get out there again. It’s been a while, but that’s football – sometimes you have to wait your turn and be patient.
“I was always ready. I’ve had a few reserve games and have been training hard to make sure of that.
“Of course it’s frustrating when you’re not playing, but the other two central defenders have plenty of quality, so there were no hard feelings.
“Obviously I’d like to stay in the side for the next game, although that’s a decision for the manager to make.”
Clarke helped Pompey keep a clean sheet, ensuring that Adam McGurk’s first half strike was enough see off Stanley.
The centre-back said: “We work on those phases of play day in, day out on the training pitch and thankfully Adam popped up with a decent finish.
“It was scrappy throughout, with a lot of free-kicks and plenty of stoppages in play.
“We had the chances to finish Accrington off and it was more nervous than it should have been near the end.
“But the important thing is that we’re through to the next round and we’re happy with that.”