Chaplin on the hunt for Pompey starts

Conor Chaplin laid down his desire for more playing time after joining the Pompey 100 club.

The home-grown striker made no secret he is hunting for starts as he outlined his ambitions moving forward for the Blues.

Conor Chaplin celebrates a goal against Wigan earlier this season. Picture: Joe Pepler

And that means exacting demands of himself moving forward for Kenny Jackett’s men.

Chaplin celebrated his 100th outing for the club as a half-time substitute in Tuesday’s 2-1 loss at Doncaster.

It’s already been a Pompey career full of memories for the 20-year-old, since his debut in 2014.

Chaplin has raced to his century in quick time across a period which has seen him firmly established as a crowd favourite.

Conor Chaplin following his 100th Pompey appearance at Doncaster. Picture: Paul Currie

But a total of 73 of those appearances have come off the bench under three different permanent managers.

Despite his pride at turning out for Pompey, Chaplin is desperate to improve his starting ratio.

After being absent for seven games, he is now keen to get down to business.

Chaplin said: ‘I will be (a hard taskmaster).

‘I would like to have had more starts within the 100 I’ve made. Of course I want more.

‘At the same time, though, I’ve had a great time coming off the bench as well.

‘Within that 100 games there are memories I will never, ever forget. Hopefully I can go on to achieve success in the next 100.

‘A promotion in that period would give me memories which reflect the first 100.

‘In terms of games now, the injury hasn’t helped.

‘But everyone wants to play and I am certainly no different. When you get injured it can put you back a couple of weeks.

‘The lads have been playing when I haven’t and you need to catch up a bit.

‘At the same time, no-one else is going to put me in the team.

‘I need to put in the performances to put me in the team – and that’s what I’ll be looking to do.

‘But to play 100 times in front of those fans, whether as a starter or sub, makes me extremely proud. It’s a massive honour.’

After making an impression at Doncaster, Chaplin is looking for more game time as Pompey go to Blackburn.

With skipper Brett Pitman nearing a return, Chaplin accepts there is likely to be rotation to the attacking line-up moving forward.

He said: ‘We have partnerships all over the pitch. In training you can see players working with each other and there’s often rotation.

‘Maybe that’s something that can help us in the long run.

‘There are a lot of good players and it’s healthy.

‘We can help each other in games and in training to get the best of each other.

‘I’ve never been to Blackburn before. They are a team who have been at a high level and in the Championship for a few years.

‘It’s a place you want to play football and have minutes on the pitch. That’s certainly the case with me.’

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