McCarthy Delighted Chambers is Staying
Friday, 5th May 2017 15:09
Town boss Mick McCarthy is delighted that his skipper Luke Chambers has signed a new two-year deal, ending speculation regarding his future.
The 31-year-old’s contract was up at the end of the season - although McCarthy had indicated that the club would be taking up their option to keep him for a further year - with his former club Nottingham Forest - who Town could relegate at the City Ground on Sunday - having made a move for him on the final day of the January transfer window.
“It was always the intention but as I’ve been trying to explain for the last four weeks, eight weeks maybe we had to wait and see where we were, and discussions were under way,” McCarthy said. “I’m delighted he’s signed, and I’m sure he is.”
Was he concerned there might be further interest in the summer? “Sort of, yes. But he wanted to stay, he wanted to be here. He’s settled here, he likes being at the club, he loves being at the club. He’s enjoyed his time here and doesn’t particularly want to leave.
“And I was delighted with that, so unless somebody had come and blown his socks off with something I think he wanted to be here and play.”
If Chambers completes the 90 minutes at the City Ground on Sunday he will have played every minute of Town’s season.
“That is remarkable that he’s done that,” McCarthy reflected. “I better play him on Sunday now, hadn’t I, to allow him to complete the season!
“Cressy did the same at Burnley a couple of seasons ago. It’s a great achievement to get through every minute of every game throughout the season.
“I’m delighted he’s signed. He’s got plenty to offer as a player but he offers much, much more than just that because he’s such a good captain.”
When it was pointed out that Chambers could possibly score the goal that relegates his old club who had things worked out differently he could have been playing for on Sunday, McCarthy added: “Funny how football works that way. In different circumstances and maybe if we could have taken a player in it might have happened.
“I didn’t want it to but you feel very insecure if your contract is coming to an end. If you get an injury and you’re out, suddenly there’s no contract anywhere.
“I get that having been a player, I fully understand that. But the fact is that he’s stayed here and he’s got a new two-year contract and he won’t be giving them any quarter, I can assure you, it’s not in his DNA.”
Looking back at the situation which developed on the final day of the January window, McCarthy said: “The club weren’t in a position to say where we were going to be. We were in a scrap then. I said at Christmas we were in a scrap to stay in this league.
“I certainly didn’t want to lose a good player, a very good captain and Chambo didn’t want to leave. But there was a two-year offer for him [at Forest].
“So I guess the perfect scenario would have been us saying ‘Alright, there’s your contract, you’re staying here’ but the club weren’t sure where we were going to be.”
McCarthy says he told Chambers he wouldn’t be going anywhere unless he could bring in another player with TWTD reporting at the time that the Blues showed interest in Celtic centre-back Efe Ambrose, who subsequently joined Blackburn on loan.
“I told Chambo right at the start, I said ‘If this is the best for you and I can have a replacement - and I’m not on about somebody just to come in and play, there’s a difference - then and only then would I consider it. And that was never the case,” the Town boss recalled.
“So, whilst I considered it, it was always going to be a no unless I’d got somebody to replace him and they would have benefited from having a good defender and a really good captain. They probably wouldn’t be in their position if he’d gone there.”
Reflecting further, he added: “It doesn’t always work out. Put it like buying and selling a house, somebody wants to buy it, you want to sell it, but it doesn’t work out that way.
“It might do in the end, unfortunately it’s not an inanimate object, is it? It’s a person we’re talking about who’s got feelings and he’s got a family. That made it pretty difficult but he’s handled himself brilliantly and I think that’s a very big tick in his corner for that.”
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