Chambers: New Manager Has Already Created a Buzz
Thursday, 1st Nov 2018 15:41
Town skipper Luke Chambers says the arrival of new manager Paul Lambert has given the players a lift and that they are already better prepared for Saturday’s vital home clash with Preston than they had been for games under predecessor Paul Hurst.
Asked about training under Lambert over the past three days, the 32-year-old defender said: “It has been a lot different so far. With a new start you are trying to impress again and it’s very difficult.
“No one wanted this scenario at the start of the season. Everyone wanted to be successful in the last few months but unfortunately that didn’t happen.
“Now it is another chance for everyone to go again and everyone is looking like they are really, really wanting to perform again and get behind the team itself. The lads are working for each other.
“In training, if someone goes past you, you’ve got your team-mate to back you up and vice versa.
“There are always options on the ball, so maybe things have been lifted and the lads are starting to believe in themselves again. I think the new manager and his staff have had a part to play in that.”
At his first press conference on Tuesday ex-Norwich boss Lambert emphasised the need to bring the fun back to Portman Road and make it an enjoyable experience for Portman Road regulars perhaps starved of entertaining football, at least on a consistent basis, in recent seasons.
Chambers added: “It’s never fun when you’re not winning games. You can have all the fun in the world in the week but if you don’t win at the weekend it’s forgotten about.
“In football these days it’s becoming a little bit ‘We’ll do this in the week’ but nothing’s really geared up to play on a Saturday.
“All that matters in a football club is winning. If you want to win looking good, or you want to win playing ugly, everything you do throughout the week really should prepare you for a Saturday.
“I think we’re going to be doing that now – and I’m not saying we weren’t doing that before – but I think we can do it a hell of a lot more and after what we’ve done in the last few days I hope that is where we are going to go with that.”
First impressions of Lambert and his new backroom staff? Chambers said: “Very good, very positive and very clear in his message to the players. He’s created a real buzz around the lads already and the training has been tremendous over the last few days.
“We’re looking forward to the weekend and if I’m brutally honest I don’t think we’ve been looking forward to too many games of late.”
Lambert could be the man to lift Town off the bottom of the Championship and steer them to safety, but if survival is to be secured Chambers is the first to admit that a large part of the responsibility rests with the players.
“Yes, 100 per cent, and I said that last week,” he continued. “When a manager gets the sack the players have to take a lot of the responsibility.
“We’re trying to do that in the dressing room and I don’t think you could ever question the lads’ effort and determination on a Saturday.
“I think everyone’s working and working, but sometimes when you are working so hard, without possibly having everyone on the same page, it becomes even more difficult and you start running around all over the place, which I feel we’ve done in the last few weeks.”
Having been signed by Paul Jewell in July 2012, Chambers was handed the club captaincy by Mick McCarthy, which he then retained it in the short-lived Hurst era.
The former Nottingham Forest man revealed he has already had a one-to-one meeting with Lambert, who was out of work for almost six months after departing Stoke at the end of last season after his 15-game stint reaped just two wins and saw them relegated from the Premier League.
He said: “He pulled me into his office on the first day, which for me is very, very good as we have to build a relationship. If I remain as captain that’s great but at the minute it’s bigger than me as a player and as a captain. It’s all about our club staying in this division.
“I think the bond between a manager and his captain is massive. I think if you look throughout all the leagues you have to have that really.
“But no one is guaranteed their place in football and the captaincy should never guarantee me my place. If I’m not performing for the new manager I shouldn’t be in the team.
“No one can say they should be in the team because at the end of the day we’re bottom of the league. You have to earn your place in the team and I think that’s what the lads are going to try to do.
“With the positive environment that seems to have been created in the last few days it’s going to be an interesting decision for the manager to make at the weekend.”
Asked if there was still an air of uncertainty around the club, Chambers replied: “Yes, of course there is. If the manager picks his team, no one should be knocking on his door saying they should be in the team.
“We are where we are but I think everyone has a clean slate now. He has asked us to try to forget what has gone on before.
“It’s easy to say everyone’s got to be brave and they’ve got to get on the ball, but you really need the characters now.
“We really need the lads to step up and do what is being asked of us. He has almost taken the pressure off us all by saying that if we do what he is telling us to do, if we play the way he wants us to play and we make a mistake, it’s his fault.
“Obviously, we all know when we make a mistake on the pitch, but to hear you have the backing of your manager straight away, from day one, it makes everything a lot clearer. I think we’re seeing the benefits of that in training to be fair.”
Does the arrival of a new manager mean a possible opportunity for some players? He added: “We’ve used a lot of different players throughout the season – I heard the other day it was the highest number in the league – and that’s something we haven’t been used to over the last few years.
“I think we’re still searching for a winning formula but virtually everyone in the squad has had an opportunity.
“Now it’s a chance to nail down a place, with a clear direction when you’re playing on the pitch. We’ve gone from different scenarios where everyone’s involved and it doesn’t matter what team it is.
“If it’s your position you know exactly where you need to be at a certain time. When there are no grey areas in football it becomes a lot easier.”
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