Championship sharpening Simon Lappin
CHRIS LAKEY Less than a month ago Simon Lappin was playing in front of fewer than 5,000 fans at St Mirren.Now he's got at day out at Chelsea under his belt - and looking forward to more as he adjusts to a new life in England.
Less than a month ago Simon Lappin was playing in front of fewer than 5,000 fans at St Mirren.
Now he's got at day out at Chelsea under his belt - and looking forward to more as he adjusts to a new life in England.
The gap between Scottish Premier League and the English Championship hasn't been lost on Lappin, who celebrates his 24th birthday on Sunday.
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“No disrespect to the SPL, it is a very good league with a lot of fantastic players, but the Championship is a better standard - that's not being disrespectful at all. It is a lot more physical, that's the key thing. It's a wee bit sharper and it will take me time to adjust.
“I will need to keep my head down and keep working hard and get on with it, but I'm loving every minute of it so far and long may it continue.”
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It's that gap in quality that Lappin hopes will improve his game.
“I had a great time at St Mirrren and worked for a great manager and his assistant, Gus McPherson and Andy Millen, they were superb, and brought my game on leaps and bounds in recent years,” he said. “I had a chance to come down here to a higher standard and I think I can only improve with the players round about me and with the manager and coaching staff we have here.
“Playing against opposition that we will be up against I can't help but improve and it is up to me to take the opportunity.
“All the boys and staff and the manager have been brilliant at the club, everybody has made me feel very welcome and that helps - and there are a few Scottish boys in the dressing room that understand what I can say, so that helps.”
Lappin made his debut in the home win over Leeds before Saturday's exploits at Chelsea.
“It was a fantastic experience for me,” he said. “If you had told me a couple of weeks ago that I'd be going to Stamford Bridge to play them I'd have just laughed at you, but it was great, although I think 4-0 was a bit harsh.
“I'm not saying we deserved anything out of the game but we created chances and unfortunately didn't take them, and they did, and that's the difference.
“It was a great day out, but we have to move on from it. We have a tough game against Preston and we are just focussing on that.
“We went there and gave it a go and at stages of the game we showed we could compete with them and we kept the ball well at times as well, so we can take confidence from that. I know it sounds silly saying you can take confidence from a game where you got beat 4-0, but playing against the Premiership champions and holding our own in stages of the game we can take confidence from that for tomorrow's game and the rest of the season.”