Strange day lies in wait for Clarke

Pompey defender Matt Clarke   Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey defender Matt Clarke Picture: Joe Pepler

MATT CLARKE admitted he’s in for a surreal experience tomorrow after securing his Pompey future.

Clarke will travel to parent club Ipswich Town as a Blues player for the third-round clash.

It’s going to be weird with all the people I know at Ipswich.

Matt Clarke

The 19-year-old will have to sit out of the game, however, as part of the terms of his loan stay at Fratton Park.

Clarke was diplomatic about the unusual situation he faces.

But the central defender admitted it’s going to be a bizarre occasion for him to deal with.

Clarke said: ‘I couldn’t believe it when the draw came out.

‘There’s 64 teams and it’s the two I’m connected with!

‘I can’t play but will travel with the team.

‘It will be strange going there with Portsmouth.

‘It’s going to be weird with all the people I know at Ipswich.

‘The FA Cup has great history, especially at Portsmouth.

‘We all want to stay in and progress as far as we can.’

Clarke joined Marc McNulty in committing his loan future to Pompey this week.

He has made 21 appearances under Paul Cook’s side so far this season.

That is a return he is content with after making just four sub appearances and one start for Ipswich.

Clarke feels he had made progress in that time, as he develops his education in the game.

And, like his loan club, he feels there is still more to come over the second half of the campaign.

Clarke said: ‘I want to stay here and play my football here.

‘So I’m looking forward to seeing how the rest of the season goes.

‘I’ve come a long way from where I was.

‘I find myself in situations where I’m more comfortable.

‘And I think we are only going to get better as the season goes on.

‘The move was done above me. He (Mick McCarthy) knows what’s going on and he speaks to the gaffer here, so there’s no problem.

‘I’ve always felt that, if I was playing, I would be happy to stay here for the season,

‘I’m glad that’s the case.

‘I’ve had a chance to show what I can do.’