Matt Clarke may be sent on loan elsewhere

Matt Clarke in action for Portsmouth

Matt Clarke in action for Portsmouth - Credit: Bluepitch Media / Joe Pepler

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy says he could look to send defender Matt Clarke on loan somewhere else when his spell with Portsmouth comes to an end on January 3.

The 19-year-old joined the League Two side in August and has made 15 starts and one sub appearance. But, prior to the 1-0 home win over Accrington in the FA Cup last Saturday, he hadn’t started a match since October 10.

Town have now been drawn at home against Portsmouth in the third round of the FA Cup, that match to be played on Saturday, January 9.

Asked if he was happy with the draw, McCarthy said: “I was, except Clarkey can’t play in it. He played in the last FA Cup game against Accrington.

“He played in that game because he hasn’t been playing. But that’s something I’ll review anyway. He needs to play, Clarkey, so that might be something we have to think about with Portsmouth.

“But they’re a good footballing team and we’ve had them watched a fair bit because we’ve had Clarkey watched, certainly early on. It’ll be an interesting game, it’ll be good.”

McCarthy says if the Barham-born centre-half isn’t going to play regularly while at Fratton Park he’ll look to send him elsewhere.

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“If he’s not playing, I won’t (extend his loan),” he added. “I’m not picking (Portsmouth manager) Paul Cook’s team, far from it, and I’ve had this discussion with Paul, otherwise I wouldn’t even dream of talking to you about it.

“He’s got two other lads who have got in the team and are playing well, but Clarkey needs to play. He can be a sub with me, he had that last year. So, if he’s not playing then we’ll change that and get him somewhere else if we can.”

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