Conor Chaplin has made an up and down start to life at Ipswich Town following his summer transfer from Barnsley.
Arriving as one of 19 new signings in the summer has brought a lot of competition for places at Portman Road with Chapman seemingly the direct rival of Bersant Celina to play in the number ten role.
Chaplin has not received as much playing as he would have liked so far this season along with many others in the Tractor Boys’ very large squad. However, the 24-year-old is seeing that in a positive light in striving to improve his game.
Chaplin described the competition for places and positive atmosphere around the squad when he spoke to Twtd.co.uk.
He said: “Every time you play it is an opportunity to impress and remind people what you can do, what you’re good at and what you can bring to the team.
“That will apply to every single one of the players, not just me. I think we all know that we have to play well to stay in the team because it’s such a good squad.
“Attitude is a big part of it. We’re a team, we’re a close group of players and that’s going to take us places this season, fingers crossed. It needs to come from the culture of the club – everyone pulling in the right direction – and that’s something we are trying to create as well.”
The Tractor Boys are currently sitting just four points off of the play-off places in recovering from their desperately poor start to the season. A goalless draw at home to Oxford United at the weekend would have shown them exactly what they are up against as Karl Robinson’s men have finished in the top six in the last two seasons.
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It is a very difficult balance for Paul Cook to strike in Suffolk at the moment. His man management skills may have never before been tested to this extent as he attempts to keep the whole squad happy, despite it containing players with abilities above third tier level who are not seeing regular first team action.
Chaplin played an important role in Barnsley’s remarkable run to a fifth placed finish in the Championship last term, therefore he would have expected to be as significant when stepping down a division to be reunited with Paul Cook at Ipswich.
The Tractor Boys are in good form having lost just once in their last ten and travel to Oldham Athletic for a first round FA Cup replay on Tuesday evening. It will likely be an opportunity for Cook to shuffle his pack and for players on the fringes to demonstrate their quality against lower league opposition.