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Chaplin: Squad is Very Competitive and That's a Good Thing
Thursday, 4th Aug 2022 18:54

Town not only have one of the strongest squads in League One, they also have players who might not make the matchday 18 but would be guaranteed a game for any of the other 23 clubs in the division.

That’s the view of attacking midfielder Conor Chaplin, now in his second season at Portman Road following his move from Barnsley last summer and having scored 11 goals in 48 appearances in all competitions last term.

Referring to a change in the rules that allows clubs to field five substitutes, from the seven named on the bench, the 25-year-old said: “It’s good but maybe not so good for forward players. I don’t think we will all be playing 90 minutes every week!

“In terms of the whole squad, everyone realises they will have to make sacrifices for each other.

“We’ve spoken about it in pre-season that there’s one common goal and that’s all that matters. Everyone is on board with that and it’s such a good feeling to have within the squad. I don’t think there’s anything stronger than that.

“I think we have an amazing squad that’s right up at the top of this division, whether it’s the starting line-up or the calibre of player we have to come off the bench.

“We even have players here who can’t get in the squad and would be starting for any other club in the league. It’s very competitive and that’s a good thing.”

Saturday’s trip to newly-promoted Forest Green Rovers breaks new ground for Town and a number of the players, Chaplin included. He added: “I think it’s going to be a really tough game and in addition to that it could also be a tough atmosphere because this will be their first game at League One level and a massive occasion for them and their fans, which means plenty of excitement and expectation.

“We’ll be favourites because we are one of the teams fancied to win promotion, while they have only just won promotion to this level, but we have been watching a lot of video clips of them and it’s clear they are a good side.

“I watch a lot of football anyway and I’ve been impressed with what I’ve seen of them and I know what sort of team they are.

“I also know their assistant head coach, Michael Doyle, really well because he was my captain at both Coventry and Portsmouth.

“I know they play a brilliant brand of football, attacking and expansive, and they have good players as well. I can see it being a tough afternoon.

“I couldn’t tell you what it’s like there because I’ve never played there. I haven’t even been there before so I’m really excited about playing at a new ground.

“Some of the lads have already played there but it will be a brand new experience for me and a few of the others too. It’s a modern club that has had a lot of success to get to where they are now and they are clearly ambitious.”

A capacity crowd of just over 5,000 will watch the game and Town know what to expect, having played at venues like Accrington and Morecambe in front of small, but nevertheless enthusiastic, crowds.

Chaplin added: “If you don’t look forward to these occasions you are in the wrong game. It’s fine getting yourself up for 27,000 at Portman Road but Saturday’s game is every bit as important and this sort of game could be a test for any team.

“If we are going to have any success this season, we must have the right approach going into every game. That’s something we are really homing in on this season and we’re all excited about this one. We have a clear identity in terms of how we want to play and I don’t think we will go away from that.

“If that doesn’t work it will be a case of trying harder at it to make sure we improve. When you go to places where it can be tough at times you’ve just got to keep trusting the process in terms of the way that we play.

“We know we will have more than enough quality on the pitch, as well as on the bench, to win the game, so it’s just about implementing that out on the pitch.”

Meanwhile, Chaplin joined the chorus of congratulations for the England women’s team after they were crowned European champions at the weekend, defeating Germany 2-1 after extra time at Wembley to claim the title for the very first time.

He said: “It was amazing, absolutely brilliant. On Saturday, once our own game against Bolton was over, I was immediately looking forward to it and genuinely excited about watching it.

“I think everyone was probably a bit worried when Germany equalised but they came back well from that setback and deserved their victory. But it’s not just about them winning it, the big picture is what they have done for the women’s game in general and it’s sensational.

“Here at Ipswich our women’s team had a good run in the cup last season and I know how much they enjoyed being in the spotlight with their game against West Ham going out live. I didn’t just watch the final, I watched quite a lot of the tournament. I saw all England’s games and watched others as well.

“The quality was really good – players with great individual skill – and you could see the quality of the coaches in the way the teams performed.

“Overall, the level of football was very high and the tournament, not just the fact that England won it, was a great advertisement for the women’s game. It’s hot right now and there are bound to be spin-offs and benefits, the main one probably being a huge increase in the number of girls taking up the sport at grass roots level.”

Photo: Matchday Images

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blueboy1981 added 19:51 - Aug 4
Really ?? - He may be right, but talk is always the ‘easy bit’ and we’ve been there, and heard that all before.
So let’s start getting some Wins on the Board, starting against Forest Green, follow that up with three points the next home game - and the Points will obviously speak louder than umpteen words.

DavoIPB added 22:18 - Aug 4
'they are a good side' - no, they are forest green and only just been promoted from the fourth division. We are Ipswich town anything less than a comfortable victory against a team like forest green is not good.

shakytown added 00:25 - Aug 5
Really??? Getting a bit arrogant aren't we Conor. If all our players are so good then why can't we score goals and why didn't we win last week???? Massive improvement needed before that sort of thinking sunshine.

1987TractorBoy added 03:33 - Aug 5
3 comments and all 3 taking completely different things from what Chaplin has said.
The man is respectful, informed and speaks well.
Can't see how anyone can fault what he's said here.

Trojan added 07:47 - Aug 5
Really chaps I do wonder about some of the really negative and thoughtless comments made on this website. Calm yourselves down its game number 2 and the lad is trying hard to be positive and respectful!!

number8 added 07:59 - Aug 5
He has spoken well and put his views across well and in no way do I find them arrogant.

But on the eve of match day, I find the comments about how good the squad are naive. Team talk sorted for any opposition. I know he has gone on to discuss how good they are, which is standard respect procedure. Just saying any of our squad would get into any team is not needed.

Then saying that, if they back it up with results what do I know

Linkboy13 added 10:46 - Aug 5
Yes we know we've got a good squad we heard this last season but can we mix it when the pressure is on and teams are physical. We must win tomorrow or i fear the hatchets will be out in some quarters on TWTD.

BangaloreBlues added 10:47 - Aug 5
20 shots on goal a game and only one goal a game... so how come all the other teams manage to put the ball in the net?

blueboy1981 added 11:12 - Aug 5
Some Supporters cannot accept a comment about ITFC that isn’t 100% Positive - this is being Naive to the extreme, and having Blind Faith.
We have been talking about ‘how good we are’ for years, under various Managers - BUT results haven’t backed that up i.e. semi-rooted, to say the least, half way in Division 3 … season after season basically.
Should be now stop talking up ‘how good we are’ ? - and prove it with Goals, Points on the Board, and PROVE IT - at long last, and let the results do the talking … !!!

blueboy1981 added 11:14 - Aug 5
…. should read:- ‘we’ not ‘be’ … !!

blues1 added 12:26 - Aug 5
Bangaloreblues Did every other team in the efl score last Saturday? So our strikers didnt score on thex1st day of the season? So does that mean they won't score goals for the rest of the season? Get a grip.

Texastom added 10:29 - Aug 6
We won’t go anywhere without a proven Striker.

We also have to mix it up and go direct when called for. This Division is about hardwork and endeavour.

BangaloreBlues added 18:05 - Aug 6
@ blues1

I was referring to last season, and our first match echoes many performances of 21/22 - huge numbers of goal attempts but not putting the ball in the net.
Perhaps you've been away for a year and haven't been paying attention.

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