Why Conor Chaplin can still be Portsmouth's game-changer

Conor Chaplin can still be Pompey's game-changer.

Thursday, 16th August 2018, 12:20 pm
Updated Sunday, 2nd September 2018, 10:07 pm
Pompeu striker Conor Chaplin. Picture: Joe Pepler

And the home-grown favourite has been backed to make an impact for his side from the bench.

That's the challenge laid down to Chaplin, if he is to force his way into Kenny Jackett's first-team plans.

The 21-year-old continues to be linked with a move away from Fratton Park, with Coventry City still said to be interested in pursuing a loan move.

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Pompeu striker Conor Chaplin. Picture: Joe Pepler

But assistant manager Joe Gallen believes Chaplin can still make his mark at Pompey.

He said: '˜We need some game-changers from the bench and he is probably as good as you're going to get.

'˜Last season he came on in games and scored pretty quickly. We need to have him around.

'˜It's up to him. As soon as he gets on the pitch and gets a goal, all centre forwards are thinking you have to pick them. That's how it works.

Portsmouth won't gamble in loan market. Picture: Joe Pepler

'˜Right now he hasn't got the number nine shirt but he'll be waiting to come on.

'˜And when he comes on the ball will drop to him at some point and he will bang it into the back of the net.

'˜Then the manager has a difficult decision on whether to pick him or not. He has to be ready and I think he is ready.

'˜I'm watching him train and doing his work afterwards as he always does.

'˜I think he's ready to be on the bench and come off the bench and change it for us. That's what we're looking for.

'˜You want your forward subs to make an impact. He's done it before and can do it again.'

Gallen stressed there's not been a single problem with Chaplin's attitude amid speculation over his future.

He added: '˜He's the same Conor Chaplin. He's the same Conor Chaplin turning up day-in, day-out.

'˜He picked up a bit of a niggle last Thursday but that is fine now and he's available for selection.

'˜If he doesn't start and is on the bench he gives the team a big chance when he comes on.

'˜He can change the game pretty quickly.  I don't think he has been (distracted). He's just the same.

'˜He is a very likeable person. Everyone loves Conor. He's the same and comes out with the same bits and pieces.

'˜I think his idea of training is how many goals he can score. That's Conor. His mentality hasn't changed at all.'