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It was the ideal game for Chapman

Tony Mowbray hails Harry's display, but insists he still has lots to learn

23 October 2017

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Manager Tony Mowbray was delighted to see Harry Chapman grasp his opportunity on Saturday – but insists there are still plenty of areas of his game that he needs to improve.

The young winger was handed his first league start of the season and he rewarded the Rovers boss with a superb assist for Bradley Dack’s opening goal.

Speaking after the 3-0 victory against Portsmouth, Mowbray said: “I was amazingly impressed with the goal that he created.

“He played right in front of me in the first half and there are still parts of his game that you have to tell him to go and close somebody or cut a passing line off or where to stand.

“And yet how exciting is he when he’s running away on the change of possession and people aren’t catching him?

"At some stage I have to trust him to put him on the pitch. It's the same with Ben Gladwin, it's the same with Rekeem Harper, it's the same with Sam Hart.

"There comes a time when you've got to be able to put them on the pitch. They all have to play their part.

"Harry had been showing through his substitute appearances that he can change a football match and today I felt it was going to be a bit end-to-end.

"I thought it was going to be a game like when Harry has been coming on as a sub with 20 minutes to go – it's a bit stretched and a bit more open.

"This game was going to be stretched for most of the game, because they were coming to attack us as well.

"So when they attacked, there was a chance to break away with Chapman's speed and that hasn't necessarily been the case at home, because teams have been sitting in and trying to counter-attack on us.

“I’m delighted for Harry, delighted for the team and delighted for the fans.”

Mowbray admitted after the game that fellow youngsters Sam Hart and Rekeem Harper will also be called upon as the season unfolds.

The young duo, who completed deadline day moves to the club from Liverpool and West Brom respectively, both got 90 minutes under their belts as Rovers’Under-23s ran out 2-0 winners at Newcastle on Friday night.

The Rovers boss travelled up to the North East to watch the game and felt that it was important for both players to maintain their match sharpness.

"Sam's been asking to play for weeks now,” added the manager. “He hasn't played for five or six weeks.

"He's not moaning at not playing. He understands that Derrick (Williams) is doing a very steady job for us and he has to bide his time and be patient.

"I felt Rekeem needed to play a football match because we've got two or three players now on four bookings, so they're one mistimed tackle away from him having to go into the team to play.

"So I think it was important that he didn't have an excuse if he did play to say that he hadn't played for six to eight weeks, so it was important for him to get a football match.

"I went to Newcastle to watch them and I thought they all did well. Young (Scott) Wharton as well did fine for 75 minutes.

"I think it's important that they play football. They're here to play and I need them to be up to speed if and when we ask of them."

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