Cook’s Chaplin Pompey admission

Conor Chaplin Picture: Joe Pepler
Conor Chaplin Picture: Joe Pepler

CONOR CHAPLIN has not played enough football this season.

Paul Cook admitted the Academy graduate should have had more minutes on the pitch for Pompey.

Chaplin has made nine starts for the Blues this season, with 24 outings coming off the bench.

The 19-year-old has bagged nine goals in that time for Cook’s men.

Chaplin has been restricted to two starts since the FA Cup win over Maccslesfield since the start of November, however.

And Cook knows that’s not enough for the highly-regarded talent.

He said: ‘We’re lucky at the minute. We have a good squad.

‘In general, we have a good squad.

‘Conor Chaplin should have played more games, without a doubt.

‘It’s an argument that doesn’t often surface but, for me, he should have played more minutes on the pitch.

‘Conor should have had that without a shadow of doubt. He should have had more.

‘But then it’s hard to keep everyone happy and on the pitch.’

With Pompey having a 24-man squad, Cook knows Chaplin isn’t the only player who’s pushing for game time at the moment.

He added: ‘We’re lucky we have Adam Webster now champing at the bit to get back in the team.

‘I think competition for places is healthy.

‘Gareth Evans has been in the majority of teams this season.

‘But Adam McGurk’s come in and been involved in good games.

‘Ben Close has had strong games. The balance of the squad is good.

‘We have a lot of players playing consistently and the challenge sometimes is getting them on to the pitch.’

– JORDAN CROSS