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11 November 2016

Defender interviewed in Mansfield programme

Not many people saw Pompey beat Bristol Rovers in the Checkatrade Trophy during the week.

However, there were plenty inside Fratton Park to watch recent defeats to Doncaster, Notts County and – in the FA Cup – Wycombe.

So there could be an added burden on the Blues squad ahead of Saturday’s clash with Mansfield.

But Matt Clarke insists that they should welcome the chance to get their home form back on track.

“Losing is a horrible thing to experience whether you’re at home or away,” says the defender in the official matchday magazine for Saturday’s clash. “But I don’t think you can blame the pressure of playing at Fratton Park for defeat.

“It’s something we’re all used to now and it would be wrong to use that as an excuse – if anything having that level of support is a benefit for us and something we can use to provide a boost.

“When I first came here on loan, I would look around the ground and think ‘flipping hell’ because there were so many people.

“But that’s something you have to put to the back of your mind very quickly because you’re there to play football.

“Whether you’re performing in front of 500 supporters or 16,000, you just have to make sure you get the job done.”

To read the full interview – where Clarke also talks about Pompey’s defensive options and his injury frustrations – pick up a copy of the magazine from programme sellers around the ground.

Also in issue 11, Enda Stevens takes the 20 Questions challenge, while we test Conor Chaplin’s general knowledge.

There’s an in-depth look at Mansfield, plus exclusive columns from Iain McInnes, Paul Cook and Michael Doyle.

All this and much, much more in a packed 84 pages is available for just £3.

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