Defender focused ahead of Stevenage test
There was plenty of excitement ahead of Pompey’s clash with fellow promotion hopefuls Luton on Tuesday night.
Now Matt Clarke insists that the same level of importance must be placed on this weekend’s match against Stevenage at Fratton Park.
Their opponents are currently down in 16th position in the League Two table, but just five points adrift of the play-off spots and with two games in hand on most other sides.
And Clarke knows that Boro must be treated with respect if the Blues are to continue their own fine run of form.
The centre-back said: “There were times last season when we didn’t really perform following a big game, so we need to stay focused.
“You have to treat each one as if you are playing Plymouth or Luton and give them all the same importance.
“Teams who come to Fratton Park and know they’re not going to have much of the ball will often change the way they play.
“They want to make life difficult for us and some have got success from that, so we have to up our game by 10 per cent in order to break them down.
“But we all know what our jobs are in the team and believe that if we perform to the levels we can, then we’ll get the job done.
“As a defensive unit we know what we’ve got to do and we want to be a solid unit to give the attacking players more creative freedom.”
Pompey have dropped just two points from their last four league matches, but Clarke does not want to see complacency set in.
He said: “There’s a good feeling around the club at the moment, but we know that can all change with a few defeats.
“Currently, though, we’ve enjoyed getting a few wins and we have to use that to build even more momentum.”