Goal hero delighted with winner against Derby
It was just his second senior goal in a Pompey shirt and his first at Fratton Park.
So Conor Chaplin was delighted he could play such a pivotal role in helping the Blues stun Derby in the first round of the Capital One Cup.
The 18-year-old forward came off the bench to grab the winner after Jason Shackell had cancelled out Adam McGurk’s opener.
And he was grateful to manager Paul Cook for releasing the shackles and letting him do what he does best.
Chaplin said: “I’m very thankful. I’m not sure it gets much better than that – unless we were playing Barcelona! It hasn’t quite sunk in yet.
“It meant a lot to me to score my first goal at Morecambe last season, but to do it in front of these fans means a whole lot more.
“The gaffer just told me to go out there and enjoy myself – he always does that and it gives me great confidence.
“I get some freedom out on the pitch to try to make things happen and as an attacking player that’s all you can wish for.
“Derby are a very good team who move the ball well, so you have to get into shape quickly and close things down.
“We had to dig in deep towards the end, but I thought we were excellent overall and some of the passing was unbelievable.”
Never been happier, lads were class tonight start to finish🙌🏼⚽️
— Conor Chaplin (@ConorChaplin10) August 12, 2015
Chaplin now hopes he will be given more opportunities to impress in Pompey’s attack.
He said: “I love playing in that number 10 role behind the striker – it’s my favourite position on the pitch.
“But I’m not too fussed what I’m asked to do to be honest because I just want to play games.”