Teenager in frame for Stevenage start

Conor Chaplin scores against Morecambe Picture: Joe Pepler
Conor Chaplin scores against Morecambe Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey midfielder Stuart O'Keefe is on a season-long loan from Cardiff Picture: Joe Pepler

Jackett lauds his Pompey driving force

  • Chaplin in frame to start at Stevenage
  • Teenager came off bench to net in defeat at Morecambe
  • Wallace a doubt after sitting out training yesterday
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Conor Chaplin is pushing for a maiden Pompey start following his goal-scoring cameo.

But Jed Wallace is battling to be fit as caretaker boss Gary Waddock takes the Blues to Stevenage tonight (7.45pm).

I certainly wouldn’t want to play against him and he is only going to get better

Joe Devera

Chaplin climbed off the bench as a second-half replacement for Wes Fogden and netted in Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at Morecambe.

It was the youngster’s first senior goal, capping off a campaign which has seen him become leading scorer for both the Academy and reserves.

The 18-year-old will now be hoping for a start as Waddock mulls over his team in the first match of the post-Andy Awford era.

Awford yesterday left the Blues by mutual consent, handing the reins over to assistant manager Waddock and first-team coach Paul Hardyman.

Chaplin, from Woking, was the only positive for the visitors in that Globe Arena victory.

And speaking before Awford’s exit, Joe Devera was full of praise for the prolific striker.

He said: ‘I have seen enough of Conor in training and he is a very promising, up-and-coming player.

‘He’s a good finisher as we saw on Saturday, and very good technically.

‘I certainly wouldn’t want to play against him and he is only going to get better.

‘He came on against Morecambe and scored a really good goal, so has stepped up on that occasion.

‘I’m sure we will see plenty more of him in the first team this season and beyond.’

Meanwhile, Wallace yesterday missed Pompey training through a knock.

The club’s leading scorer has missed just one match so far this season – an absence prompted through suspension.

He is now a doubt for the trip to Stevenage, who are seeking to cement their place in the play-offs.

Already missing is Josh Passley, who suffered concussion at Morecambe at the weekend and as a result cannot play for the next seven days.

That would put Devera or Adam Webster in the frame for a right-back role.