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Boss: Why Chapman isn't starting

The boss explains why the youngster has mainly been used from the bench this season

11 October 2017

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Blackburn Rovers manager Tony Mowbray plans to give Harry Chapman more game time, but feels the attacker is currently more effective as a substitute.

Chapman joined the club on loan from Middlesbrough in August and has made nine appearances from the bench in all competitions so far in 2017-18.

Mowbray says that while he rates Chapman highly, he's keen to teach the 19-year-old about the tactical side of the game before putting him in the starting XI.

“Harry Chapman is a fantastic young guy, he’s 19 years old and learning about football all the time," the boss said.

“He’s fast, he’s got quick feet and knows how to beat people, but he’s finding some of the tactical things hard to understand.

“When the game loosens up with half an hour to go and he comes on, he looks like Rivelino, he’s so fast and direct.

“He’s going through a learning process and I feel the team could be more vulnerable if Harry starts a match and he’s not helping his full-back cut off the passing lines. 

“Ultimately, all I want, and I’m sure the fans do to, is for the team to win. At the moment, Harry is best coming off the bench to damage the opposition."

Chapman gave Rovers fans a glimpse of his talent with a superb display from the bench during our 4-1 win over MK Dons at the end of August.

Mowbray says Harry understands his current situation and expects the youngster to play an increasingly important role as the season goes on.

“At 2-1, the MK Dons game was a bit edgy, but Harry came on and created two goals in 10 minutes," he added. "He’s a young boy with speed, technique and talent.

“His exact words to me were ‘all anyone has ever told me to do is go on and affect the game', but no one has taught him about positions or how he has to help the team.

“It’s a job for men at the minute and when we get to Christmas and teams come here and just bank everyone up and I feel there’s more threat on one side of the pitch, I can put Harry Chapman on that side and see if he can do damage at the start.

“At the moment, while we’re having to grind out results, I think he’s best coming off the bench. He’s not moaning or coming to my door and asking why he’s not starting, he understands.

“It’s a progression for Harry, and hopefully in another 10 or 15 games he’ll be starting."

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