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25 September 2020



25 September 2020

Conor Chaplin was on press duty today ahead of the visit of his former club to Oakwell on Saturday.

The Reds' striker only played the last half-hour or so of Wednesday night's Carabao Cup defeat at Chelsea but told us he was keen to learn from the game.

Barnsley were ruthlessly dispatched by the London giants, to exit the cup at the third round stage.

Chaplin though, believes there were positives to take.

“It was a good experience." He began.

“Obviously it was very disappointing to lose in the manner we did. But in the first half I thought we were comfortably the better side. 

“We’ve gifted them at least three, if not four goals.

“You can’t do that in any game, let alone against one of the best teams in football. But yeah, I took the positives from the game, in that as a motivational tool, that’s the kind of level you have to aim for.

“We have to learn from the game.”

Up next for Conor is an opponent he's all too familiar with.

Having left Coventry City in the summer of 2019 to join the Reds, he's naturally looking forward to Saturday and coming up against some friendly faces.

“I’m excited." Chaplin stated, smiling.

“It’s a really good club with great people involved there. It’s a shame how things have gone for them off the pitch, but they’re a club I follow and their fans are superb. 

“I loved my year there, and they were fantastic last season by all accounts.

“But we have to pick up a result now. A win is huge, let’s get three points on the board and kick-start our Championship season.

“I believe they’ll try and play football, as we do. A good spectacle. Enjoyable one to play in, but one we can be superior in hopefully and get up and running.”

Getting that first win would help lift the mood of the fanbase, for sure. And that's where the former Pompey striker's focus is - on Saturday against the Sky Blues. 

That is despite him being asked about the rumours surrounding the future of our Head Coach.

“First and foremost, the gaffer has done a great job considering what he walked into.

“That will have sparked interest no doubt, same as it does for players. But we are all focused on the game tomorrow, as I know he is. 

“I’m looking forward to Saturday, up against my old team and another manager I like in Mark Robins. It’s going to be a good afternoon if we can hit our limit on the day.”

There was fresh frustration for everyone involved in football with the latest postponement of the return of fans to stadia this week. Understandably, there's growing pressure on the government to add clarity on the matter.

Chaplin says the situation is damaging the game when the topic was put to him.

“I’m really disappointed about how that’s panning out." Conor said.

“I saw the comments of the Colchester chairman and he was bang on for me. It’s safe inside stadiums for me, there are protocols in place and they have passed all the tests.

“But the government are in control and we have to get on with it. 

“But it’s another blow to the game and it’s not even close to being the same without our fans with us inside Oakwell.”

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