Pompey striker savours getting one over Paul Cook

Conor Chaplin celebrates. Picture: Joe Pepler
Conor Chaplin celebrates. Picture: Joe Pepler
Stuart O'Keefe. Picture: Joe Pepler

Midfielder’s ready to fight for Pompey starting spot

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CONOR CHAPLIN savoured getting one over Paul Cook as he rescued a point at Wigan.

Chaplin left the bench to earn Pompey a 1-1 draw and end the Latics’ 100-per-cent start to the season.

The sharp-shooter took two minutes to make an impact as the Blues went up against their former manager.

Wigan gave Pompey a torrid time for long periods, as they hit the woodwork three times and came up against keeper Luke McGhee in inspired form.

But Chaplin earned his team a hard-fought point when he headed home with 14 minutes left.

It was ironic it was the 20-year-old who made the impact with many supporters feeling the striker wasn’t utilised enough under Cook.

Chaplin explained there was some wry smiles between the pair as he celebrated his effort.

He said: ‘It’s exactly what you want to do coming off the bench.

‘You want to impact the game and the best way to do that is scoring a goal.

‘That has to be the aim of any attacking player coming on and thankfully I was able to do that.

‘It was a brilliant cross from Brandon (Haunstrup) – an unbelievable ball.

‘A ball like that was begging to be put away and thankfully I was able to do that.

‘I did catch his (Cook’s) eye when I was coming back.

‘He could see I was looking at him and he was looking at me and started laughing as well.

‘I couldn’t help but giggle. It was a funny moment.

‘We did catch each others’ eyes and had a little giggle about it.’

It may have been Chaplin who took the plaudits for the leveller, but the Academy product was at pains to highlight it was McGhee who deserves credit.

The keeper pulled off a string of top-drawer stops to stop Wigan running away with the win.

That ensured Pompey came away with a share of the spoils as they renewed acquaintances with many of those who played a part in last season’s title success.

Chaplin said; ‘The result is testament to the big man. He made some unbelievable saves.

‘There were some worldie saves. I’d say there were definitely at least five or six brilliant saves.

‘That’s the reason we’ve drawn the game - not because I scored a goal.

‘If he doesn’t make those saves we haven’t got a chance of getting back in the game in the first place.

‘It was a funny day seeing everyone around.

‘There’s Hunty (Noel Hunt) and all the backroom staff and the people fans don’t see.

‘You become good friends with these people because you spend every day with them.

‘Maybe these people don’t get seen but they have helped me a lot.

‘It’s good to see people after the successful year we had. It brings back memories.’