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Gillingham 0 v 2 Ipswich Town
Papa John's Trophy
Tuesday, 5th October 2021 Kick-off 19:00
Chaplin: We Need to Get a Winning Culture
Wednesday, 6th Oct 2021 11:14

Goalscorer Conor Chaplin says Town now must back up last night’s 2-0 Papa John’s Trophy victory at Gillingham with a win against Shrewsbury in League One at Portman Road on Saturday.

The 24-year-old netted the Blues’ second goal in the 72nd minute as they comfortably beat the Gills to claim top spot in their group, Joe Pigott having given Town the lead two minutes prior to half-time.

“It was enjoyable, really enjoyable,” Chaplin said. “We worked really hard as a team and when you’ve got as good players as we have on the pitch, if you work hard at these places, you should win the game.

“That’s how it should work, but you’ve got to earn the right with your work-rate and your endeavour to win the ball back to create chances and I thought we did that brilliantly.”

The forward, who joined the Blues from Barnsley in the summer, felt it was important for the club to bounce back with a win following the hugely disappointing 2-1 defeat at Accrington on Saturday.

“I think it was vital,” he reflected. “I think we need to start getting a winning culture in the club and that comes from whatever game it is.

‘Whether it’s in training or in the Papa John’s Trophy like it was tonight or in the league, you need to get a winning culture in the football club, it breeds confidence, it breeds success.

“If you’ve got players that aren’t in the [League One] team at the moment that are churning out performances like that, it’s only encouraging for the manager.”

He added: “I wouldn’t like to have the gaffer’s job, it’s a tough job. There are a lot of good players at this football club, I think you can see with 11 changes tonight.

“The quality that we’ve got on the pitch is frightening for this level. As I said previously, it’s probably the best squad I’ve been involved in in terms of ability and quality and I stand by that because there are some really good football players at this club.”

Did he expect a flag to be raised as he ran through to score his goal? “I didn’t, I honestly knew that I was onside but it was one of those that sometimes the lino gives it because it looks that far offside. It’s one of those where the ball’s come at exactly the same time that I’ve run on the shoulder.

“I saw the lad, it was the young lad at the back for them [Jack Tucker] that was keeping me onside. Fair play to the linesman because sometimes it looks that far offside that they just give it. Fair play.”

He says it was a chance he would back himself to take, despite having plenty of time to think about bagging his second goal for the club.

“I expect myself to score that,” he said. “It’s a one-v-one, if I hadn’t have scored that I would have been raging with myself.

“It’s one that I expect to score but it was a great ball from Pigs [Pigott] as well, someone I knew could see that pass and play that pass, which was why I ducked in behind. It was nice to see it hit the back of the net, definitely.”

He says not many big number nines would have been able to make that pass: “That’s the quality he’s got. There’s a lot of that throughout the team. The quality in terms of this squad, it’s a big squad and there’s a lot of quality.”

Chaplin, who previously played for manager Paul Cook at Portsmouth, likes playing behind the main striker as he did at the Priestfield Stadium: “That’s probably one I enjoy the most but I honestly don’t mind where I play across that front four.

“Whether it’s wide, up front or in behind the striker, I’ll work hard for the team, I’ll try and create chances, be clever, pick up pockets, play on shoulders, whatever it may be, do the job that I need to do for the team. I’m more than happy to do it.”

With Bersant Celina away with Kosovo at the weekend, Chaplin is hoping to get the nod to start against the Shrews.

“Of course. I’ve come here to get this club promoted, nothing else,” he continued. “I expect to be starting games, I expect to play, but whatever happens in terms of the squad, I know that we’ve got such quality, so whatever happens, whatever team the gaffer picks everyone’s in the same direction, there’s only one goal at the moment.”

Chaplin believes he’s starting to get to the top of his game after a frustrating start to his time at Town having suffered with Covid over the summer before picking up a hamstring problem in August having made his first appearance for the Blues.

“Yes, I haven’t played 90 minutes once this season pre-season or in the season proper,” he said. “Not once because of Covid and then injury, so it was massive for me tonight in terms of legs.

“I just tried to work as hard as I could and the time you get and the feeling you get from 90 minutes, 85 minutes, whatever it was tonight, is massive.

“And I felt really good as well, really good. In recovery runs and things like that, I was trying to put in an extra yard just to make sure I was really trying to top up the fuel sort of thing, top the level up. I felt really good today.”

Does he feel his season has finally got up and running in the last 10 days having scored his first goal for the club late in the 1-1 draw with Sheffield Wednesday? “You could say that, I didn’t come off the bench at the weekend, so possibly not! Yes, I feel good, I feel really good, I feel in a good place definitely.”

Last night’s Town side featured youngsters such as Idris El Mizouni, again impressive in midfield, and Luke Woolfenden, who secured a clean sheet alongside stand-in skipper Toto Nsiala at the centre of the defence, while Zanda Siziba came off the bench to replace Chaplin in the 85th minute and Albie Armin, Cameron Humphreys and recent signing Tete Yengi were also among the subs.

Chaplin says there’s some real talent coming through from the academy: “It’s really good, really good. I haven’t seen too much of the U23s at this club but the lads that have trained with us from the U23s have been brilliant.

“Their attitude to training has been really good, which is something as a young lad is massive.

“I always try and say that to them in terms of trying to help them when they’re training, regarding the work-rate.

“You need to be an example in games like this when they’re watching on the bench and show them how much hard work you have to put in in a 90-minute game.

“They’re really good players, really good quality as well and that’s something that’s exciting for the football club.”

Town are still to record back-to-back victories this season - and under Cook’s management - and Chaplin is in no doubt that the Blues need to change that when they face the Shrews on Saturday, then go into the match at Cambridge the following weekend off the back of two wins on the bounce.

“Exactly that,” he said. “I couldn’t have said it any better myself.”

Photos: TWTD/PagePix

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Dear_oh_Dear added 11:28 - Oct 6
Excellent player. Should start Saturday, and keep his place if he plays well!

BlueRuin69 added 12:33 - Oct 6
Play him saturday. Coyb

Ryorry added 12:34 - Oct 6
Very well said Conor 👏🏻

pennblue added 12:53 - Oct 6
Agreed he has earned his place and has demonstrated the desire to win.


masetheace added 13:01 - Oct 6
pennblue - I guess you could say that about all that played on Tuesday , as opposed to the gutless who played at the weekend !!

BossMan added 13:41 - Oct 6
Deserves a run in the team. Has shown a lot more than Fraser so far but been unlucky not to be given more pitch time

Karlosfandangal added 13:59 - Oct 6
I would like to see Chaplin or Harper as the number 10 with Celina on the left…. Hard to say really as they are all starting to do the business.
Thought Jackson had a good game on the right with KVY doing the over laps last night Excellent Vision and pass for Pigotts goal

Monkey_Blue added 14:15 - Oct 6
Just to be sure of getting a play-off place we need to win 5 and lose no more than 2/3 of each set of 10 games going forward. Does anyone see that happening? Thrashing the bottom club and let’s be honest clinging onto a 1-0 win to Lincoln who are also a bottom half team doesn’t suggest that’s likely. We did make 11 changes but Gillingham made 8 and most of our reserves team would walk into theirs. 46 points which we are on course for at this point would have got us relegated last season. Lambert was with no money to spend getting abuse when we were only in the play-off places, not top two. Some of you need a reality check.

Monkey_Blue added 14:30 - Oct 6
We’ve tried all of them… it’s not the players, it’s the way they are being coached and the tactics employed, assuming given Cook’s spaghetti salad in interviews they aren’t confused about what he wants. How many times has a win been followed by a player of manager saying exactly what Chaplin had said? I heard the phrase “kick on” or “build on this” from every struggling team ever after a win. Generally struggling teams continue to struggle. Unless you think cook is going to do something fundamentally different going forwards, we aren’t getting into the play-offs, possibly mot the top half, maybe remain bottom half and perhaps have a relegation fight to come. A better manager would have got more than lambert out of last seasons squad. Cook got less out of them and no better out of a supposedly far better squad. Also don’t give me that “they weren’t his players” nonsense. That’s the case for EVERY manager being appointed to a new job.

Oldboy added 15:10 - Oct 6
If he needs telling that then he is in the wrong job.

Linkboy13 added 15:25 - Oct 6
A good win and performance from Chaplin but this was the Micky Mouse cup and to say he's done more than Fraser to deserve a first team place is well wide of the mark.

ipswichone added 15:37 - Oct 6
Anyone who believes last nights game was equal,needs their head read.Ipswich played all first team,while Gillingham had all boys from b team.wait till we play Gillingham in league.and please stop idiotic people thinking was a level playing field

cat added 16:04 - Oct 6
Hey Monkey, what your not factoring into your wonderfully negative stats are the defensive gaffs and missed open goal which cost us at least 6/8 points, do you blame Cook for them?.
Any team can go on a run (even after Christmas) with quality players, so I’m one of them still believing the play offs are possible. I’m not disrespecting your opinions cause it each to their own on here but at least try and balance your opinions with some positive’s, cause there is one or two!

fergalsharkey added 16:10 - Oct 6
i still think we will win the league.


ihatecanaries added 16:54 - Oct 6
Fergalsharkey what have you been smoking?

Gdunkdafunk added 17:12 - Oct 6
Love this, good lad with a decent (sounding) attitude, should play at the weekend and let's hope he shines. COYB

dirtydingusmagee added 19:08 - Oct 6
yes we should get a winning culture, but the team who played last night was not the team that will be playing in Lge on Sat , imo we should have played those players if Cook thinks they still need to gel. The players are capable of getting results its Cook that needs to get his act together .

ArnieM added 19:15 - Oct 6
Ipswich Town FC, has long had a soft underbelly, and frankly perceived as a “soft touch” on the pitch and a “nice” Club off the pitch.

I’m not suggesting ITFC loses its family values, but I do think it’s about time we got far more street wise on the pitch, and be less “nice and gentlemanly” during a game. It’s long overdue! Even now, I don’t think we’ve got a rough/ hard nosed, up at em player, in this squad.

Nobbysnuts added 19:42 - Oct 6
If we got 3 points for stating the obvious we would be 10 points clear at the top.....

ArnieM added 20:56 - Oct 6
There’s saying and there’s doing . We don’t DO

bobble added 23:01 - Oct 6
talk talk

ringwoodblue added 13:56 - Oct 7
After playing well on Tue, if Chaplin or Pigott don’t get in the team on Sat, that’s going to be tough for them to take.

Playing the formation that we do means that it’s hard to keep all our attacking players happy.

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