Chaplin: My Pompey frustration is over

Conor Chaplin scored on his first start of the season as Pompey thrashed Barnet 5-1 at Fratton Park on Saturday    Picture: Joe Pepler
Conor Chaplin scored on his first start of the season as Pompey thrashed Barnet 5-1 at Fratton Park on Saturday Picture: Joe Pepler
Plymouth Argyle's Remi Matthews. Picture: PA Images

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Conor Chaplin revealed his frustration at being asked to bide his time – now he’s determined to hang onto his first-team place.

The 19-year-old earned a first start of the season against Barnet on Saturday.

When I get a chance I know I am more than likely to hit the target and hopefully score – thankfully I did that on Saturday

Conor Chaplin

He responded with Pompey’s opening goal as the Bees were thumped 5-1 at Fratton Park during a stunning team display of finishing.

Ironically, Martin Allen’s side also represented Chaplin’s maiden bow last season, netting twice in a 3-1 triumph in September 2015.

Many of the Fratton faithful have been calling for the striker to be given a regular Pompey starting berth this term.

Now he’s hoping he will take some dislodging.

He said: ‘My first start last year was also against Barnet, maybe the gaffer knew that, who knows.

‘I’ve had to be patient, it has been frustrating at times but it is going to be frustrating for every single player who doesn’t play and I am no different.

‘I don’t think age comes into it at all because once you have proven you can do it, you can do it. I think I have done that now and am looking forward to tomorrow at Blackpool.

‘I am always confident when I go onto the pitch. I believe I’ll get scoring chances, especially with the players behind me.

‘When I get a chance I know I am more than likely to hit the target and hopefully score – thankfully I did that on Saturday.

‘Everyone knows the group aim and club objective, but as an individual I just want to play as many games as I can and score as many goals as I can.

‘Hopefully the team will benefit from that.’

Pompey find themselves in second place in League Two heading to Blackpool tomorrow night (7.45pm).

Joining Chaplin on Saturday’s scoresheet were Gary Roberts, Carl Baker, substitute Milan Lalkovic and Danny Rose.

Roberts also missed a penalty after Bira Dembele had been dismissed for a foul on Chaplin in the 64th minute.

Although the youngster believes the red card from referee Darren England was harsh.

And he had every sympathy for the Bees’ towering central defender.

Chaplin added: ‘I thought it was a penalty but I don’t think it was a red card, it was a bit harsh.

‘My second touch wasn’t that great and went through to the keeper and I think the referee has to factor that in, so I feel sorry for Dembele.

‘It’s good for the lads because we are playing against 10 men and it’s a numbers game – but I still felt sorry for him.

‘I didn’t think he pulled me either. I know that was what the referee told Dembele, but he clipped me on the thigh if anything, I felt it and went down.

‘His thigh went into me – and that is the contact I felt.’