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Fixture News

Clarke’s Eyes On Promotion Prize

Player of the Season looking for play-off success

4 May 2019

Matt Clarke
Photo: Joe Pepler/PinPep

Matt Clarke has missed just six minutes of League One action for Pompey during the 2018/19 campaign.

So it was no surprise to see him crowned The News/Sports Mail Player of the Season ahead of a 1-1 draw with Accrington.

Perhaps more of a shock was the defender collecting all 13 trophies – awarded by various supporter groups – that were up for grabs.

Clarke was pleased with the recognition, but has his eyes on a bigger prize ahead of the Blues’ play-off contests with Sunderland.

The centre-back said: “I’m obviously very grateful for the awards, but I’d trade them all in for winning promotion at Wembley on May 26.

“My focus is always on doing well for the team and the individual accolades – although nice – are an added bonus.

"I’m obviously very grateful for the awards, but I’d trade them all in for winning promotion at Wembley."

Matt Clarke

“What we’ve achieved so far will be overlooked if we don’t win promotion and we feel we could have done better this season.

“The play-offs are a big challenge, but it’s one that we go into with confidence and we’ll need a plan to come away with the win.

“These matches will have a different feel about them and you don’t really get to experience that two-legged format often if you’re not in the Champions League.”

Clarke was in the Pompey side that were beaten in the fourth tier play-offs three years ago and is now striving for a different outcome.

He said: “Everyone who was in that changing room at Plymouth knows how much it hurts to get knocked out.

“You take what you can from those previous experiences and hope that gives you the edge to go on and win.

“There will be a different feel around the place next week, but it’s something that we’ve got to embrace.”

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