Harry Chapman happy to put in the hard yards at Shrewsbury Town

Harry Chapman may have been brought to provide Shrewsbury a creative spark from midfield, but the on-loan Blackburn schemer admits he is being kept busy learning the defensive side of the game.

Harry Chapman takes on a number of Southampton players in an eye-catching Salop debut (AMA)
Harry Chapman takes on a number of Southampton players in an eye-catching Salop debut (AMA)

The 23-year-old has caught the eye so far in two appearances for his new side, but that hasn’t stopped Town midfield generals Ollie Norburn and Josh Vela demanding he takes on the dirty work.

Chapman has been used in an attacking ‘No.10’ role at the tip of Town’s midfield and was their most lively attacker in the FA Cup at Southampton last week and almost scored a fine individual effort at Sunderland on Saturday.

But the former Middlesbrough youngster knows he is not exempt from putting the hard yards in to help his loan side steer clear of League One’s bottom four in the second half of this campaign – without the manager who brought him to the club.

The attacker has shown glimpses of being able to ease the creative burden on Shaun Whalley, but he knows the energetic pair of skipper Norburn and Vela behind him will not relent in their demand for effort.

On his role as an attacking midfielder Chapman, who has previously played out wide, said: “I’ve not played it a lot really, it’s fairly new, I’m still getting to grips with the defensive side.

“But as a forward player as a No.10 you seem to fit in, it’s just a lot more back-to-goal type work.

“I feel I am fitting in nicely, it’s just getting the defensive side right for me.

“With Vela and Norbs behind me I’m getting it really quickly, they are constantly at me with instructions ‘left, right, stay or jump’ all of that, I am picking it up quickly but I still need to improve.”

Chapman, who is out of contract at Ewood Park in the summer, added: “You do (get more freedom), that’s the positive, it’s a tough position for people to pick up, if I’m behind the midfielder they don’t want to do it and the centre-half doesn’t want to come out the slot because there’s two strikers to deal with.

“It is difficult to mark, if we get the pass the right. But I had to feed off second balls at Sunderland.”

Ex-Middlesbrough youngster Chapman had to wait the best part of three weeks for his Town debut due to the Covid-19-enforced break. He was given the all-clear to spend the time at home in the north east rather than a Shrewsbury hotel, but is now settled in Shropshire.

The mazy dribbler, a former promotion winner on loan with Barnsley, Sheffield United and Blackburn, is relishing the prospect of regular senior football having started just once this season for his parent club, on the opening day in the EFL Cup.

“The more minutes I play the better and the fitter I’ll get, I haven’t played a lot of football over the past two years, being in and out of a team and having to drop down to reserves to keep fitness up,” he added.

“Playing in this league and getting 90 minutes is all beneficial to me. Games come thick and fast and I’m sure I’ll get to grips quick.

“It’s just nice to have trust of a manager, someone who believes in me and gives me confidence to do what I do.

“I’m thankful for him bringing me in and giving me that trust, allowing me to express myself when on the pitch.

“Obviously I know if I don’t work hard or perform then I’m out the team, it’s not a given that I’m going to play, if performances are good then I’ll stay in and get those games under my belt.”

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News