Conor Chaplin backed to avoid Pompey frustration

Conor Chaplin and Leam Richardson, left. Picture: Joe Pepler
Conor Chaplin and Leam Richardson, left. Picture: Joe Pepler

Leam Richardson is confident Conor Chaplin will avoid frustration as Pompey continue to handle him with care.

The 18-year-old striker netted his seventh goal of the season in the 2-1 win at Northampton but it was from the bench after another short cameo as he entered the fray as a late substitute.

He will end up playing regularly, so I don’t think he will get frustrated

Leam Richardson

Chaplin has told Paul Cook and the coaching staff he wants to play more but has had to bide his time behind Marc McNulty, Caolan Lavery and Adam McGurk recently.

But although his goalscoring record probably demands him more time on the pitch, the assistant boss feels the teenager has the ideal attitude to wait for his opportunity.

Richardson said: ‘He is a fantastic young prospect.

‘He scores goals regularly and needs minutes on the pitch.

‘He certainly wants to play more minutes and tells me and the gaffer that every single day.

‘I am struggling to see anyone in the country who is scoring so many goals with so few minutes on the pitch.

‘We’ve got some good strikers at the club and we forget he is only 18 years old.

‘But he will end up playing regularly, so I don’t think he will get frustrated.

‘In the short time I have known Conor, I know that his character and attitude is top class.

‘I don’t think he has any frustration in him.

‘I just don’t think he is in that mould.

‘So he will keep his head down.’

While the manager is clearly keen to avoid heaping too much pressure on to young shoulders, Richardson admits the talent has an instinctive ability.

‘You can see what he is,’ said Richardson.

‘He is a natural goalscorer. It’s a knack.’