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Chambers: Strength of Championship Was Underestimated
Friday, 2nd Nov 2018 10:55

Town skipper Luke Chambers believes ex-boss Paul Hurst, who was sacked last week after just one win in 15 league and cup games during his 149 days in charge, may have underestimated the demands of Championship football.

Hurst was new to England’s second tier as a manager, having only narrowly failed to win promotion from League One for former club Shrewsbury last season before being unveiled as owner Marcus Evans’s choice to replace the departed Mick McCarthy.

Chambers said: “I think the strength of the Championship was a little underestimated from day one and I think that’s come home to roost a little bit now.

"We need to perform over the next however many games and get us to January when I’m sure the manager will have some ideas.”

Asked how the team went about beating the drop six years ago, when McCarthy took charge of a team rock-bottom with just seven points from 13 games, started with a 1-0 win at Birmingham and eventually amassed an impressive 60 points to finish six clear of the relegation zone.

“Just being harder to beat,” said Chambers. “You can play all the nice football in the world but when you concede sill goals from corners, free-kicks and throw-ins from day one, it doesn’t matter how many you score.

“We have to be more compact and do all the things you have to do in the Championship.”

Chambers recalled how he recently suggested to the players that they should forfeit their day off, adding: “It wasn’t so much me calling them in, it was more the fact that we played on a Wednesday at Leeds and we had another game on the Saturday [at Millwall] that was massive for us.

“I told the lads ‘If you feel it is the right decision to go home and just laze about then you do that’.

“But being the professionals and the characters that they are, they all knew it was better to come in and have a cool-down, have a massage, have a stretch, see the physios, do whatever they needed to do to make sure they were ready to go again.

“We didn’t need to be coming in on the Friday morning with a hangover – from losing, not from alcohol – and then getting on the bus and travelling again. We’ve had chats and we’re trying everything to get that winning formula.

“I’ve heard talk of bust-ups but there’s never been any bust-ups. We haven’t got characters in the dressing room that would ever second guess a manager and that kind of talk is beyond me. Don’t believe everything you read.”

His team-mates having answered the captain’s rallying call and making their way to the training ground the morning after the 3-0 defeat at Elland Road, they later became aware of Hurst’s sacking.

“We weren’t aware anything was going to happen,” Chambers said. “Then the news broke and it was ‘Here we go again’.”

Asked if he or any of the other players had been in contact with Hurst since he exited the club eight days ago, Chambers responded: “Yes, there will be lads that have spoken to him. It is what it is and it’s a difficult time. What do you say? There will be fingers pointed all over the place and that always happens in football.

“Everyone will have opinions and disagreements but you have to move on because the football club is bigger than us all.”

Did Evans call his captain and ask advice about his next choice of manager? Chambers said: “I think that had probably already been spoken about between him and whoever, but he did pick the phone up to me after the news had broken and put me in the picture about what he was planning to do moving forward.

“That was great to know but it was obviously my responsibility not to tell anyone and let things happen.

“Marcus and I don’t speak very often. We spoke in the summer when he told me his ideas of what he wanted to do with the club and then we’ve spoken now when things have changed again.

“He’s made his mind up about what was needed and he’ll be backing him [Paul Lambert] over the next few months and also in January, when I’m sure things will change a bit as well.”

One thing Chambers would relish tomorrow, apart from leading the side to a much-needed victory, is to repeat his famous after-match fist pump celebration in front of the Sir Bobby Robson Stand.

It has not happened so far this season, and only twice in 2018, and he admitted: “Saturday would be a very good time to do it again or I might pass the mantle on to someone else. We’ll see.”

Lambert’s arrival at the club with a new backroom team represents a fresh start for all the players and Chambers added: “It’s a chance for everyone I think. Opinions were obviously made on every player in the club, not just the first team, and this is a chance for everyone to show how good they are again.”

Asked if some players felt they were ostracised by Hurst, the skipper replied: “I don’t think you can say that in terms of the first team because we used nearly 30 players, so everyone’s had their opportunity.

“It’s not great, is it? You don’t use 30 players because that makes it very difficult to have any kind of continuity.

“I think maybe the young boys have not been treated in the way they should have been, but apart from that I think the lads have been treated pretty well. We’ve just not been able to get it right on the pitch.

“We can only look forward and try and forget what’s happened in the past because that’s not going to help us now. All that can help us is moving on.

“I think there are players who have been sent out to try and do the best for both them and the club, but a lot of them aren’t playing and sometimes aren’t even in the squad.”

Chambers referred to the situation regarding midfielder Tristan Nydam, who is at St Johnstone but rarely getting a look-in, adding: “It’s not ideal sending someone to Scotland and not seeing how he’s getting on. It’s a long way from Scotland to Ipswich.

“Tristan has been around the squad here for the last couple of years and has played quite a few games so I think opinions were made very quickly.

“We are where we are, we have the players we’ve got and I hope we see those boys again in January because I think they have a lot to offer the football club.

“We’re 15 games in and have just one win so I think some of them will definitely help us and we need all the help we can get.”

Finally, Chambers was asked if Hurst had sounded him out when things were clearly not working out. But he was reluctant to give anything away, only adding: “I don’t really want to go into it to be honest because it’s done. That chapter’s closed and we have to move on.

“Whatever happens in a football club should stay in a football club and that’s how we will move on from it.”

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hector_clifford added 11:07 - Nov 2
We should give this chap a new and improved contract as soon as we can. He is a proper club man and am proud he is our captain.

cooper4england added 11:17 - Nov 2
I've heard from other players that this was exactly the source of the issue. Hurst came in starting the championship is easy, running down the stalwarts at the club for not getting out of the league earlier and thus putting noses out of joint. Seems it somewhat backfired.

PortmanTerrorist added 11:21 - Nov 2
Really hector_clifford ?

When things were bad on the pitch i did not see Chambers rallying the players, i saw his performances dip, and make school-boy errors. Having put the boot in now, it is ever more clear he simply did not buy into what PH was doing and the idea that this would not then spread to other players is daft. In other words Chambo is culpable here.

However, that is now gone, and (if selected) we now need the old Chambers commanding a back 4/5, being vocal, and buying into Lambert's views. Suspect that unlike PH, if he does not, then Lambert WILL drop him. Sincerely hope it does not come to that as it will mean things are improving, but talk is cheap Chambo, we (and maybe you) are in the last chance saloon ! Time to shut up off the pitch and deliver on it.

Steve_M added 11:25 - Nov 2
Luke Chambers here demonstrates that diplomacy is a key part of leadership. To think the club nearly let him go at the start of last year. If we get out of this mess this season he will be as important to that as Lambert.

rgp1 added 11:47 - Nov 2
Bear sh1ts in woods shocker!

carsey added 12:00 - Nov 2
Whatever anyone thinks about Chambers ability on the pitch he is a great diplomat. There are too many rumours doing the rounds of unrest between Hurst Doige and the players for there to be no substance to them. Hopefully Lambert can sort the squad out and put some points on the board early and get to January without us being cut adrift then Evans backs him financially.
A decent crowd on Saturday would be a useful place to start.

Suffolkboy added 12:26 - Nov 2
Luke C has diplomatically left us to read between the lines , but clearly shown just how positively he thinks and how broad are his horizons !Theres absolutely no doubt that indecision , constant changes of personnel and positions have led to at least some of the inadequacies on the pitch this season .
PH almost confessed being not in touch or up to speed with all the people , particularly at the training ground / Academy / Youth set up and never seemed overly concerned about our loanees around the country : sadly not in football terms intellectually really experienced or able at this level.
BUT let's ALL quit apportioning blame , picking on any players( who it seems were undoubtedly confused by instruction or lack of -- judge for yourselves ) recognise the mature characters in our squads , give nothing but support and wish Paul Lambert & his colleagues every good wish and success !
We shall witness a whole new approach to proper Man management !

martin587 added 12:41 - Nov 2
Suffolkboy,absolutely spot on.He is a great leader,motivator, and fully committed to the job.With regard to his performances on the pitch I will reserve my judgment but that is not a criticism of Luke.

herfie added 12:42 - Nov 2
A thoughtful, diplomatic and intelligent series of comments and observations from LC. Doubtless that further snippets relating to PH’s time here will dribble our over time. Interesting though they may be, they’re now consigned to the history bin. What comes through for me, however, is no matter how carefully the due diligence process is carried out, until the selected candidate is In post and setting out his coaching and man-management stalls, it’s always a gamble!

LC possibly a future gamble in waiting!

christiand added 12:56 - Nov 2
Said it before and will say it again, Chambers might not be the best footballer at the club, but as a leader you can't really argue about the man's credentials. Time and again in these difficult periods he shows professionalism and class. It has to be respected!!

rugbytomc added 13:27 - Nov 2
one difference between now and when Mick took over is it seems some funds will be made available to Lambert in January. The thought of that is optimistic

Cheshire_Blue added 14:02 - Nov 2
Hurst's appointment was like replacing a man with a boy.

As I said all along, TIME WILL TELL, and it has.

Onwards and upwards under Paul Lambert.

runningout added 15:59 - Nov 2
Preston NE games not normally so important. Hope we don’t go 2 nil up and poo our pants off. Go for 3 4 and 5 is the order of the you know

runningout added 16:00 - Nov 2
< day

TimmyH added 16:43 - Nov 2
Whatever the judgement of Hurst...he will go down in history as one of our worst managers if not the worst, sadly there is far more pressure stuck on managers to get results than back in the Ramsey or Robson era's hence why you see shorter managerial times at a club in general and wasn't and rightly so allowed time to correct his wrong doings (if possible). On the flip side they get paid handsomely for being sacked after a contract is signed, did Hurst ever looked stressed?...well it was a win financially for him however his performance as a manager.

heathen66 added 17:10 - Nov 2
I am not sure LC covered himself in glory during Hursts tenure.
Obviously (other interview on twtd) he did not buy into that PH envisaged.
Lacked any sort of leadership on the pitch which also goes for the other Senior Pros, most of whom seem to have sock trouble when the going got tough.
Should have been the leader on and off the pitch, the go between for Players and Management. often seen celebrating goals on his own or fist pumping the fans rather than any togetherness.
I think Lambert is a good appointment and will not be seen as an upstart fighting above his weight. Lambert will not put up with it, especially with the transfer window just over 8 weeks away.

dukey44 added 19:24 - Nov 2
Enough talking now let's win tomorrow, and like it or not the captain has been terrible this season. He's done enough talking now but personally he needs resting... Just saying as talk is cheap and him being in wrong place to many times this season is one of major reasons we are we are. Dropped Bart but Chambers stayed and we still lost? Says it all really.... Coyb please start winning and stop talking

Swn98 added 19:53 - Nov 2
PortmanTerrorist Realy whatever you think of Chambo as a player his commitment.motivation and loyalty to other players and the club cannot be questioned.

SheptonMalletBlue added 20:55 - Nov 2
Talks about silly mistakes leading to conceding goals. What like that pass to the opposition in the Boro game?!!! Problem is, Chambers talks a good game, but doesn't play it unfortunately.

ThaiBlue added 21:19 - Nov 2
Chambers you need a few decent performances before you mention anybody been poor for a while and should of been dropped sorry but true don't think Lambert is here to to have favorites in the team either.

pragmatic added 22:56 - Nov 2
Steve m sorry meant to mark up gd points

shakytown added 23:09 - Nov 2
Wish he could play as well as he talks. Was average but now is even past that level. Next please.

hampstead_blue added 09:47 - Nov 3
“I think maybe the young boys have not been treated in the way they should have been, but apart from that I think the lads have been treated pretty well. We’ve just not been able to get it right on the pitch.

“Tristan has been around the squad here for the last couple of years and has played quite a few games so I think opinions were made very quickly."

A couple of rather damning statements from LC.
Hurst was so far out his depth.

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