Defender knows he has to keep working hard
Matt Clarke was the only survivor at Fratton Park.
The remaining 10 starters from Pompey’s league defeat to Doncaster on Saturday were rested for a Checkatrade Trophy clash with Reading's under-23 side.
Curtis Main scored twice as the hosts fought from behind to secure a point, but were denied a second after losing a penalty shoot-out.
And Clarke was pleased – rather than peeved – to be the only one asked to start for a second time in the space of a few days.
The centre-back said: “After a disappointing performance at the weekend, I wanted to get straight back out there and show what I can do.
“There’s plenty of competition for places at the back, so it’s up to us to play well and try to give the gaffer a headache.
“I’ve got to work hard in order to get that shirt and, once I get it, it’s up to me to prove that I deserve it.
“I thought we played well overall, but just conceded two sloppy goals, which left us with a lot to do.
“There are plenty of positives to take from the game and it’s just frustrating that we couldn’t secure a win.
“We had good spells and although Reading kept the ball well, they didn’t do too much to hurt us.
“Our territorial possession was better and we also created the stronger opportunities to score.
“It’s chalk and cheese compared to what we see in League Two. Reading didn’t want to just kick it forward and stuck to their plan.”