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CLARKE: WHAT A RELIEF

2 September 2016

Defender happy to be back in action

Matt Clarke has been straining at the leash in recent weeks.

A groin injury has kept him sidelined since April, with the defender only recently returning to full training.

It has been a frustrating time for the teenager, who impressed while on loan from Ipswich last season before completing a permanent move over the summer.

But he made his first appearance of the campaign in Tuesday night’s Checkatrade Trophy defeat at Yeovil and is hungry for more action.

Clarke said: “When I first got injured I thought it would be for just a couple of weeks, but it’s dragged and dragged.

“It was a relief to get back out there on the pitch with the Pompey shirt on again.

“It’s horrible to be sat in the gym and have to watch the lads training because you feel a bit of an outsider.

“You’re at a disadvantage because the gaffer has already seen the other lads in pre-season and you’re not a part of that.

“But you’ll always get an opportunity and it’s about being patient and ready to take the chance when it comes.

“I was a little bit pensive for the first 10 minutes at Yeovil, but felt better once I got into the game and I probably could have played the full 90.”

Clarke will now hope to be involved in Saturday’s clash with Crawley, as Pompey look to build on back-to-back league victories.

He said: “We had a lot of draws last season, so it would be great to get three wins on the bounce and really build some momentum.

“It’s all about results and even though we’re probably not playing at our best, we’re still getting wins.

“I think Crawley are a side who want to actually play football, so it should hopefully be an entertaining game.”

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