Ipswich Town youngster open to extending Portsmouth loan

Matthew Clarke

Matthew Clarke - Credit: Gregg Brown

Ipswich Town youngster Matt Clarke has revealed he is open to extending his loan spell with League Two side Portsmouth.

Clarke’s loan at Town’s FA Cup third round opponents ends on January 3, but after starting the season at the heart of Paul Cook’s defence, the 19-year-old has lost his place in recent weeks.

The defender returned for the south coast club’s FA Cup victory over Accrington at the weekend and told the Portsmouth News: “I’ve really enjoyed it, loved every minute.

“Obviously it has been a bit frustrating not being in the team but you have to be patient and wait for your chance.

“The gaffer has told me my time will come and that I’m not going to sit on the sidelines forever.

“I’ve just got to be patient and wait for my turn.

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“My loan is up at the start of January and nothing has been discussed yet.

“It is up to both clubs. I need to play football and improve myself as a player, so if it works out I’d love to stay here.

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“I speak to Ipswich every now and then and they are happy I am enjoying my time here and enjoying my football.

“I was definitely going to go out on loan somewhere this year, if it happened to be non-league then so be it.

“I just needed to get out there because last year I sat on the bench a lot for Ipswich.

“This year the plan was to go out and get some games.

“It’s up to both clubs what happens next, we’ll see where we are, see where the plan is for the next half of the season.

“I would like to think I am ready for first-team football whenever needed.”

Clarke has made one League Cup start and four Championship substitute appearances for Town, but has found his route to the first team blocked primarily by Christophe Berra and Tommy Smith, although the teenager can play left-back too.

He went to Fratton Park to gain more experience and believes the switch has proved to be a learning curve.

He added: “I started the first 12 matches and that’s the disappointing thing, playing every week and then you are on the bench not knowing where your next game is going to be.

“I would like to think I have done all right but I am young, still inexperienced and would like to improve.

“Maybe at the end of that run in the team I was a bit leggy and not as sharp as I was at the season’s start, so I have to make sure I’m fit for every game.

“I don’t like to play the age card.

“I’d like to think I am ready to play every game if needed.

“Obviously it’s frustrating but that’s football, in a 28-man squad you cannot expect to play every game.”

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