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Pompey have perfect man to lead them into battle
Friday, 23rd Feb 2018 21:27 by pompey-fans.com staff

Matt Clarke leads Pompey into battle against Blackpool this weekend with team-mates saying he is the perfect man for the job.

Clarke got the armband at Fleetwood the other night with Brett Pitman and other captain candidates unavailable and seems to have taken the role in his stride despite his relatively tender years.

Team-mate Ben Close told The News ahead of the visit of Blackpool to Fratton Park he was a popular choice.

He said: ‘Matt is a player we look up to and definitely deserves the captain’s armband. He has been excellent this season, he leads on the pitch by the way he plays and has been crucial for us this season.

‘I don’t think his age matters. He doesn’t shrink under pressure, he has been an immense performer for us and at the heart of everything. Once you get to know Matt he’s not so quiet, he’s a funny guy.

‘On the pitch he’s not a real shouter or someone who is going to truly motivate players, but he does give important instructions and talks to the midfielders in front of him. A captain can lead in different ways – and his is from the way he plays.

‘I had six starts alongside Michael Doyle in Paul Cook’s first year and he was very different, more a motivator, a shouter and a moaner. It was a different way to lead, which was a success.

‘Brett (Pitman) is in the middle. He doesn’t shout as much as Doyler, although does when he’s unhappy and feels something must be said. ‘What he also does on the pitch is score goals – and important goals, too.'

Pompey are likely to show few changes from Tuesday's youthful line-up although Kal Naismith could return.

The Blues have had a couple of successes on the road in 2018 but have not won in front of their own fans since December, drawing with Scunthorpe and Doncaster but losing to Shrewsbury and Blackburn.


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