Conor Chaplin once again scored in a new Barnsley head coach’s first match and hopes he can replicate his prolific run at the start of Gerhard Struber’s stint under new boss Valerien Ismael.
The 23-year-old striker scored seven goals in Struber’s first seven matches at the end of 2019 on his way to 13 in total last season. He netted the second goal in Tuesday’s 3-0 beating of QPR, which was his first of the season, under Ismael who has now replaced Struber.
Chaplin told the Chronicle: “It’s a big boost. Any striker will tell you the first goal of the season is the most important one and the one you are most hungry for. It’s taken me longer than I would have liked but it happens like that at times. I have had spells in my career when I have had purple patches, I don’t know why and I wish I did.
“My goals tend to come in bulks so hopefully that happens this time.
“When Gerhard came in last season it was a turn of fortune for myself and hopefully I have the same impact under this gaffer. All the boys are excited about the way he wants to press, to play and to do things with and without the ball. These are exciting times, especially after a win.”
Chaplin played on the left of a front three on Tuesday alongside Cauley Woodrow and Dominik Frieser.
“It was enjoyable. You find yourself in pockets of space you don’t normally find because there is three of you up there instead of one or two. It’s not a winger, it’s a narrow forward. We complemented each other well at times and we will look to build on it.”
Chaplin’s strike ended a 13-game wait for a goal since he headed in against Blackburn Rovers as a substitute in June. He said: “It’s important that your strikers are scoring but other people have to chip in as well. Strikers will have patches where they don’t score – Cauley has had one, I have had one, Friesy had one at the start of this season. It’s not normal to score every game or every few games.”
Chaplin has enjoyed working with Ismael so far, saying: “We have been bombarded with information but it has been really impressively put to us. There was a lot of training time in just a few days, and analysis and tactics meetings. He’s not been in the door long so there’s more to come from us. He’s done a good job to make us understand what the important things are to him.”