Mansfield Town midfielder Adam Chapman is happy to be home as he settles into his second spell with the club. And he would be happy to spend the bulk of the rest of his career there now.
Chapman, 25, who hails from Retford, helped Stags to the Conference title in 2013 while on loan from Oxford United but, when a permanent move did not materialise, he ended up spending two season with Newport County before returning to the One Call Stadium this summer.
On his first spell, he said: “I enjoyed it. It started off very well.
“I had a little bit in the middle where I wasn’t sure about it but at the end, obviously, it was brilliant. It was a fantastic end. I wanted to stay but couldn’t get it done for whatever reason. So I am just delighted to be back now.
“I spoke to the chairman in the summer and the manager and I am looking to settle in now and hopefully it’s not going to be from my want of choice of leaving. Hopefully I can perform to a standard that everyone thinks is acceptable and I’d like to be here for a good number of years now.
“I love everybody involved with the club. There has not been that much change off the field staff-wise behind the scenes, I love all them. Obviously the manager is still here, Coops and Micky (coaches Richard Cooper and Micky Moore), and I do enjoy it, so hopefully this is me.
“It’s been two years here, two years there and I never really felt I could settle at Newport. I enjoyed my time there, I loved it there. I don’t regret it and wouldn’t change it but I never looked at it as somewhere I could stay for five or six years.
“There were a few clubs in the summer that I thought I could go there for a year or there for two years but I’d want to move again.
“This was obviously the stand-out candidate from being here in the first place because I wanted to come back. But also I looked at it from my family point of view as somewhere I could settle and see myself here for a good number of years.
“We moved down to Wales as a family but it’s nice to be back home. Retford is only half-an-hour and that’s where we are from.”
As he prepared for Saturday’s visit of Crawley Town, Chapman said the players were disappointed to be held 1-1 at home by AFC Wimbledon last weekend, saying: “We definitely feel like we’ve dropped two points there.
“We had a couple cleared off the line, but we don’t feel we are clicking in our attacking form at home at the moment.
“We do think as a group that when it clicks, especially at home, we are going to give someone a real good three or four-nil. I do think we look relatively solid. Against Carlisle and Wimbledon I never felt we were going to lose the game. Against Oxford maybe a draw was a more fair result.
“Other than that it’s just, on the attacking side, we need to click and gel as a team and hopefully that will come on Saturday.”
He knows it would help if they didn’t give the opposition a goal start like in the last two League games.
“It’s not something we want to be doing and we don’t want to be giving away sloppy starts,” he said.
“It’s something we make a big thing about in the changing room before the game and even on a Friday.
“We want a quick start – a fast start – as that’s how we feel we can affect teams. The last two games we have conceded an early goal which is disappointing. But on the flip side it’s good to know you can come from behind to draw or win a game.
“We had a meeting the other day and said if you offered us that on 4th July, we’d have took it, especially knowing we haven’t kicked off what we feel we can do as a group.
“One good sign is that when you’ve been average to good for the first period of games, we’ve still picked up a reasonable amount of points and we are just outside the play-offs. It could be better but it isn’t doom and gloom and, especially at home, we are just waiting for something to click and that will really kick us on and hopefully that will be Saturday.
“There are a lot of sides that haven’t got themselves going yet. You look at Luton, they’re down near the bottom but I think they are another side I don’t expect to be there for very long.
“They are a big club. So it’s a good sign we haven’t clicked yet but we have picked good points. We are not really chasing this early in the season, so there’s no real panic.”
Chapman played an attacking midfield role last time he was with the club, but this season he has played much deeper in a holding role and, at Notts County in the Johnstone’s paint Trophy, he was a part of an experimental back three.
On his new role, he said: “I am enjoying it but I am trying to find consistency with it. I’ve not been consistent enough for me in the first eight games. I feel like I am having a good game one week and an average game the next.
“I don’t mind it. I am quite enjoying the change but I am looking to improve.
“It is a lot more disciplined. It’s about giving Clem (Chris Clements) the freedom to go and try to get on the ball and do what he does, because he is an unbelievable talent. He is great on the ball and gets us going.
“And it’s allowing Mitch (Rose) or Jack (Thomas) to run around and charge around like they do with their unbelievable energy levels. So it’s more of a disciplined role, organising people and sitting out of it when I am itching to get forward, and then maybe I get caught in between going forward and not being as disciplined as I could.
“We spoke a lot in the summer, me and the gaffer, about what positions he sees me playing. At the Notts County game I played in the middle of a three at the back. We’ve looked at that, not as a position for me for a season, but if needs be I can go and do that.
“I think there will still be games he allows me that licence to go and kick on a little bit further forward. For the minute I am going to play wherever he wants me to play and I am happy to do that.
“To be fair back in my younger days I did play centre half for two seasons. But I think the amount I wanted to get on the ball and pass it, that didn’t last very long. I think they always wanted me to get out of there.
“But I did play there a couple of times for Newport last year and I played all right. So I don’t think it’s a position in which you’re going to get 15 games out of me because I don’t think that’s me. But if needed I could go there and do a job.
“I don’t think I will be needed. I’d much rather see one of them big boys back there than me.”
Chapman has seen his cash-strapped former club Newport sink to the bottom of the table already
“There are problems,” he said. “I still speak to a couple of people there and they say it’s not as bad as it looks.
“But it’s going to be hard for the new manager there to go in with the budget cuts and restraints on what he can do. But I really do hope they get out of where they are and stay in the League as I really enjoyed my two years there and I wouldn’t change it.
“I don’t want to see them go down as we all know once you go down it’s hard to come back up.
“I enjoyed it there and I’d like to think they enjoyed me too.”
On Saturday, he added: “We are expecting a tough test from Crawley. We know what they are about.
“We know what their strengths are and we know they’re a good side.
“We probably know they haven’t kicked off yet, so they will be looking to come here and put in a good away performance and hope that can kickstart them, but hopefully it will be that does that on Saturday.”