Don’t call Pompey striker ‘super-sub’

Conor Chaplin celebrates his goal at Wigan. Picture: Joe Pepler
Conor Chaplin celebrates his goal at Wigan. Picture: Joe Pepler
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IT’S A TITLE to drive Conor Chaplin to distraction.

Don’t put the term ‘super-sub’ and the Academy product’s name together with the striker in earshot.

‘I’m more than a sub,’ a member of the press was informed in no uncertain terms when doing so at Wigan on Saturday.

It took two minutes for the 20-year-old to make his headed impact and deny Paul Cook’s side a win after entering the fray.

After starting on the opening day against Rochdale, Chaplin has been on the bench for Pompey’s past five fixtures.

It’s a position he found himself in for 17 successive games last term and a total of 28 times from 40 appearances.

The Worthing talent is hopeful his effort sent a message to Kenny Jackett as he chases starts.

Chaplin said: ‘Every time you come on you get the chance to stake your claim.

‘When you’re watching, you want the lads to do well.

‘But you’re striving to get on and score goals.

‘When I come on, I always want goals. It’s always at the forefront of your mind.

‘When you’re coming on the pitch or starting it’s what you think about.

‘There are other parts of the game I know I have to improve on.

‘I’m always confident that if I get a chance I’ll score.

‘Every time you get on the pitch is an opportunity to show the gaffer what you can do.

‘Everyone wants to play and I’m no different.

‘Thankfully, I’ve been able to score and it’s up to the manager now.

‘But whatever team he puts on the pitch will be capable of winning the game.

‘He was happy with me during the week that I got a goal. I was really happy.

‘Thankfully, I followed suit and was able to put another one in.’

It was Jamal Lowe and Brett Pitman who had the attacking shirts at Wigan on Saturday. Kal Naismith has been earmarked as another option through the middle by boss Jackett.

Curtis Main and Nicke Kabamba are the other forward choices being considered.

The competition between the players hasn’t affected team spirit, however.

Chaplin said: ‘There’s character in the group and it’s a tight-knit group.

‘There are still a lot of players here from last year.

‘We delivered success last season and everyone is enjoying their football at the moment. There’s a good clique here.’

– JORDAN CROSS