One of our own's in the zone with best Pompey run
Conor Chaplin feels he's thriving on being trusted by Paul Cook.
And Pompey’s young hot shot believes he can continue to benefit from his longest unbroken run in the Blues first team.
Saturday’s win at Cambridge United saw Chaplin start his seventh league game on the bounce for Cook’s side.
That’s his best run since making the senior breakthrough with Pompey – topping the four games on the spin he registered last season.
Five goals have arrived over nine outings for the 19-year-old, as he continues to further his burgeoning reputation.
Chaplin has now made 62 first-team appearances for Pompey since being given his debut at the end of 2014.
Only Enda Stevens and Michael Doyle can top that figure among Cook’s current squad.
But only 17 of those outings have arrived as starts for Chaplin.
He is now seeing himself become established as a Pompey first-teamer.
And the home-grown talent is flying as Cook shows his faith in him.
Chaplin said: ‘I always back myself to score goals.
‘It’s just about getting the minutes on the pitch.
‘Last season it was frustrating. Everyone knows about how many minutes I got.
‘This season the gaffer is trusting me with starts.
‘Last Saturday was my seventh in a row. I’d like to repay the gaffer’s faith in me.
‘I’d like to play as many games as I can and I want to keep supplying the team with goals and playing well.
‘It’s not just about goals, it’s about playing well as well.
‘I like to think I’ve helped the team in the past seven games.
‘I haven’t played well at times but I’d like to think I pose a threat which holds me in good stead to play games.’
It’s not just Chaplin who’s getting a consistent run of games for Pompey at present.
Cook has gone for the same attacking quartet in the past four fixtures with Kyle Bennett, Carl Baker and Gary Roberts operating behind the striker.
Chaplin believes Pompey are benefitting from having a settled formula.
He said: ‘There have not been many changes in the past few games.
‘Good results always come off a solid base.
‘When you have the likes of Kyle Bennett, Gary Roberts and Carl Baker behind you, it’s always easier to score goals.
‘They are so creative and have so much ability.
‘When you have that opening up teams it creates chances.
‘I should have had a couple against Notts County before Robbo put one on a plate for me.
‘That was good work from him and Benno really.
‘I’d like to think the majority of the time will stretch a defence because I’m slightly quicker than Robbo!
‘He’s better when he has time to pick a pass.
‘So I like to think we complement each other.’