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Chaplin: We're Just Starting to Click
Tuesday, 19th Oct 2021 06:00

Town go into tonight’s League One clash at Portsmouth having lost just once in their last seven games in all competitions and likely starter Conor Chaplin believes the team are heading in the right direction.

The league table shows the Blues in the bottom half with a lot of ground to make up on the leading sides but with 34 games still to play there is undoubtedly time for them to mount a promotion challenge.

It may have to be via the play-offs, rather than by the automatic route, but there is no doubt a win at Fratton Park would be a giant step towards putting together the sort of run that would quickly see them climb the league.

Last time out, at Cambridge on Saturday, Town surrendered a 2-0 lead as the U’s fought back and levelled in the 88th minute. But Chaplin said: “As disappointing as it was at Cambridge at the weekend we finished up a point closer to the play-offs.

“It depends which way you look at it but of course we’re disappointed we didn’t win the game after going 2-0 up.

“Overall we’re disappointed that we haven’t put more points on the table by this stage of the season. Everyone’s expectation was that we would have more points by now than we’ve actually got – but we’re not in a bad place.

“We know we’re a brand new team, we’re just starting to click and gel, and I definitely think the supporters who have watched us home and away will vouch for that in terms of how we look over the 90 minutes.

“Earlier on this season we had a lot of stages in games when we were a bit shaky. You could tell we were a brand new team and relationships within certain areas of the team weren’t quite there yet.

“But I don’t think that can be levelled at us too much anymore. I really do think we’re starting to go in the right direction and it’s one loss in seven at the moment, albeit we would like to have more points. We’ll be going out to get all three at Portsmouth.”

For Chaplin it is a return to his roots, having linked up with Pompey when he was only six and by the time he left to join Coventry on loan in August 2018, a move that became permanent in January the following year, he had scored 22 goals in 104 league games, coming off the bench in 73 of them.

He added: “I wasn’t disappointed at the time to be leaving Portsmouth to join Coventry because it was what I wanted back then. I needed to play regular football and that’s what happened.

“I don’t regret leaving Pompey because I knew it was the right decision for my career. I went on to play for Coventry and then for Barnsley for two years in the Championship so I was happy with the way my career was going.

“I’m looking to build on that now I’m here at Ipswich. All my family and friends in the stand at Fratton Park will be supporting Ipswich, no question. That’s the overriding factor, they support the team I’m playing for and even when it’s against Portsmouth. They’ll be fully Ipswich.

“They’ve been coming to the home games at Ipswich and they love it. They’re unbelievable in terms of providing a support network.

“God knows how many miles they’ve travelled over how many hours watching me play football all over the country and the game at Portsmouth is almost local for them, so that’s a bonus. They’re really looking forward to it and I am as well.

“There aren’t many players still there that I played with but on my previous visits I was lining up against lads that I’d known for years and played alongside many times. That’s not really the case anymore.”

But what if Chaplin can add to his three-goal tally for the Blues and help inspire a much-needed victory, a second in their six league fixtures away from home. Will he celebrate scoring against a former club? He said: “I’ve not really thought about that. I won’t be planning anything in advance – wait and see what happens if I do get a goal.

“But I’m pleased with my form and when I play I’m confident that’s what I can contribute to the team. Since I came here I’ve not really been 100 per cent fit but I have felt a lot better in the last two or three games.

“It makes a huge difference. I was affected by Covid and once I got over that I only had one or two weeks training before I got injured in the first game of the season.

“I feel like I’m in a really good place now and I can not only run a lot more, I can run a lot harder, which also allows me to show what I can do on the ball as well, which is another positive.

“I feel like I’m playing well and affecting the team in a positive way, so long may that continue.”

Chaplin was named this week as a trustee of the Community Trust and added: “I was really proud and honoured when Mark [Ashton, CEO] asked me to do the role. It’s something that I dabbled in at all my previous clubs and see it as a really important role.”

Photo: Matchday Images

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fallguy1234 added 08:27 - Oct 19
Let’s win some games of football and then talk about promotion when we’re up there

Oldboy added 09:20 - Oct 19
Best get a move on, 1/4 of the season has already passed.

midastouch added 10:03 - Oct 19
I don't know about starting to click, feels more like it's starting to crack! The second half performance on Saturday was pretty dismal!

ThaiBlue added 10:21 - Oct 19
Hes more funnier than charlie chaplin.

Len_Brennan added 10:25 - Oct 19
"... with 34 games still to play there is undoubtedly time for them to mount a promotion challenge. It may have to be via the play-offs, rather than by the automatic route ..."
- I struggle when I read sentences (parts of) like this above.
We have already spent 2 season in League 1 & this year we got a new manager in well before the end of last season, along with a much trumpeted takeover flush with funds, connections & footballing experience, & yet here we are in mid-October taking about the hope of a promotion challenge, while acknowledging that the automatic places are already all but out of our reach.
So we are pretty much talking about the playoffs, and certainly there is still every chance that we will mount a challenge that can take us into a 6th place finish; but the playoffs are a lottery & while the best side should win out, playoff history is littered with vanquished 'best sides'.
I am constantly surprised by the somewhat laid back 'it'll all come good, we are showing signs of real improvement' .. in our last 3 league games where we lost 2-1 at Accrington Stanley, drew 2-2 at Cambridge United & sent Shrewsbury Town packing from Portman Road with an inspiring 2-1 home win. There are much tougher games coming our way in the months ahead.
Many posters want to airbrush last season's results out of Paul Cook's resume as irrelevant, but why? He wasn't happy with what the players were achieving for him, but were they achieving less that what his hand-picked squad of 19 have achieved this season, in one of the softest set of fixtures one could imagine. That squad was just outside the playoffs when he arrived, but as he could not get them to get the results needed in those last 15 (I think) games to finish in the top 6, in fact they dropped back as he lambasted them . This season we have had 15, including the cup matches, and we are no better. And worse, he still doesn't know his best team, how to stop conceding soft goals or what to do when his tactics aren't working. Teams in this league work us out far too easily & Cook (and his coaches) don't seem to know how to respond when the tide has turned against us; it has happened time after time & against poor sides.
I thought getting Cook in when we did would see us pushing up into the playoffs & possibly going up - we still had a strong set of players at this level, but at the very least I thought he would have us ready to go from the off this season, like Leam Richardson has done at Wigan, now we are left clinging to the hope of a good run that will get us into the playoffs, and even then would you honestly fancy Cook to get the better of perhaps Rotherham, Sunderland & Oxford in those cagey matches?

JewellintheTown added 10:36 - Oct 19
Plenty of time left for teams nearer the top to lose form and collapse down the table. After all, we've done it in seasons past. Bit of luck and turn of form and anything can happen.

raycrawfordswig added 10:58 - Oct 19
Have a word with the defence and tell them it’s time to click .

BossMan added 11:18 - Oct 19
I really like the way Chaplin keeps play ticking over. He is a clever player and rarely gives the ball away. He has played better than anyone at 10 so far this season in my opinion with Celina looking far more creative out on the wing.

churchmans added 12:13 - Oct 19
Starting to click and gel! Constantly hearing them words! Its no secret that are defence is chit and needs new signings in January! The rest of the team is great! Win needed! Talk of a playoff route is surrender talk

bluesince76 added 13:58 - Oct 19
Had enough of starting to click and gelling football is a results driven sport we are bottom half division 3 cook has been a complete failure should have been sacked last may can't believe new owners are putting up with this.

Linkboy13 added 13:58 - Oct 19
Yes we've only lost one in seven but the performances haven't been great against some very poor teams. Accrington, Shrewsbury, and Cambridge spring to mind. Just because you win doesn't make it a good performance . We need to start getting more physical when we haven't got the ball and work much harder. When we've got the ball we look good but we give teams too much time and room. The crowds have been good this season because it's been exciting to watch . But we need to start getting our hands dirty when we haven't got the ball. COYB

istanblue added 14:48 - Oct 19
''click'' is the new ''gel''

Blue_Again added 17:15 - Oct 19
The fact that we were closer to promotion in the last 2 seasons under a regime with zero budget says it all about cook.

coleking added 17:22 - Oct 19
What team are you playing for?!

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