Chambers: We Gave Everything for Hurst
Thursday, 1st Nov 2018 16:47
Captain Luke Chambers is adamant that he and his Town team-mates gave everything for ex-boss Paul Hurst, who was dismissed last week after only 149 days in charge and a miserable run of just one win in 15 games in all competitions.
Asked about things behind the scenes under Hurst, the skipper said: “There were never any problems. It’s very difficult when things don’t start well and you don’t win games.
“A lot of change has happened at the club, which we weren’t used to in the previous few years, in terms of the number of new players who’ve come in.
“You change 12 players and you are asking many of them to step up a level and you’re also asking the lads who have played at this level to help support that.
“I just think there was so much change, and in such a short space of time, that we didn’t manage to knit together the way we’d have liked.
“If we’d won the first three games everything would have been different and the new lads would have been flying.
“When things aren’t going well it becomes a snowball effect and you can’t stop it. You don’t enjoy yourself if you train all week then lose on a Saturday.
“It has been awful in terms of losing games. After a defeat I don’t sleep on a Saturday night and while I can’t speak for everyone else I’m pretty sure it is the same for some of the others.
“You need to recognise that as a group of players we are in a position where we don’t want to be.
“Sometimes you get beaten and you look around and see a few lads laughing and joking.
“I think the realisation needs to be that if ever there was a time in your career where you really need to knuckle down this is it. Hopefully, I think we’ll be doing that in the next few weeks.”
Was Hurst’s man-management an issue? “Not really,” added Chambers, “but there was a different way of doing things.
"As a group of lads – and I said this to Mick [McCarthy] before, to Paul Hurst when he was here and to new manager Paul Lambert – I think the lads are like sponges. They will absorb everything.
“Because of the way the club has been run over the past few years everyone who has come into the club is the honest type.
“We’re not going to sign the best players in the league – we don’t have the funds to do that – but all the players who have come in have been 100 per cent in terms of effort, honesty etc.
“They’ve been solid characters you would want to have around and who you’d want as team-mates, and they’ll always do what is asked of them.
“They’ve always tried to perform and always given their best to the club, but for whatever reason it hasn’t worked out.
“In this group we have now I don’t think there will ever be a bad egg, the types who have always fallen by the wayside.
“That will continue to happen, so if someone wasn’t doing the right things – and I’m not just talking about on the pitch, I mean generally around the place, not turning up on time and leaving before they’ve had lunch with the team, little tiny details like that, maybe things weren’t as black and white as they needed to be.”
Town’s nightmare start to life under Hurst was played out to a backdrop of constant rumours of unrest behind the scenes, even to the extent of players falling out with the new manager or members of his backroom team, while the controversial axing of two World Cup players in Polish goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski and Danish defender Jonas Knudsen was also a major talking point among fans.
Chambers said: “It’s always difficult when you played as well as you could for three years, like Bart did, and he became a God-like figure within the club and to the fans.
“When things aren’t going well you’re always looking for the answer. If I’ve made a mistake or Bart has made a mistake, and we find ourselves out of the team, for us as individuals that’s obviously not great and it’s not expected, but because we’d been used to seeing a similar selection process, and not using so many players, it was strange that we saw so many changes.
“There might be mistakes and you might draw or lose, which would mean the team would change. There were a lot of changes, not just in terms of bringing players into the club but also with regard to matchday selection.
“It’s always difficult when you are meeting new players, and they are meeting us. To try to knit all that together when you’re changing the team, and trying to find that winning formula, isn’t easy.
“This isn’t me saying the gaffer was wrong in trying to do what he was trying to do, because we were trying to find a winning formula.
“We still haven’t done that and it’s not to say we are going to do it straight away under the new manager, but if you are making big decisions to take players out of the team you must accept it’s going to be difficult because it’s going to draw more attention.
“In those circumstances it’s very difficult for players to have belief in themselves, let alone the ideas that are there.”
Can Hurst go on to resurrect his managerial career and be a success elsewhere? “Well, he had success everywhere he’d been before coming here,” Chambers continued. “As players, I still think we gave absolutely everything. It’s just that it didn’t work out.
“I think the lads can still go into Saturday’s game against Preston and be very positive. We’ve had a good week in training and we’re moving forward. We’ll see where it takes us.”
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