Chambers: No Reason Lodger Ndaba Shouldn't Push On
Thursday, 18th Apr 2019 11:47
Town youngster Corrie Ndaba, who is likely to make his senior debut over Easter, can always rely on his landlord to pass on tips and advice.
The 19-year-old defender from the Republic of Ireland is one of five members of the club’s U23 squad in digs with the Chambers family – that’s Town skipper Luke, his wife and their two children – at their home just over a mile from the training ground.
“There’s no reason why he shouldn’t push on. He’s got what all defenders would love to have, a nice left foot, and they’re few and far between,” said Chambers.
“He’s got the power, the strength, the pace, he’s good with the ball, he’s a talker and he’s aggressive.
“Every time he comes and trains with us, like he did on Wednesday, he doesn’t take any prisoners.
“I remember I was like that when I was young and I think he’s got more than enough to get into the manager’s plans. I’m sure he will be involved at the weekend.”
The young players reside in an annexe at the family’s converted barn but regularly join the family at mealtime when the conversation quickly turns to football.
“It was never something that we planned and spoke about, but we literally live round the corner,” the skipper explained.
“The five lads that we have with us are all going to be at the club next season and at one point it might have been the case that they were going to be out of the door last summer.
“I think they have learned that you can’t just float through life and do exactly what you want to do.
“They have taken on a lot of responsibility and they have been very respectful, which I think has shown on the pitch. A couple of them – and mainly Corrie – had a few run-ins with people in the past.
“Well, now he has been promoted to captain of the U23s and he has gone from strength to strength.
“Everyone is talking about him and there are numerous clubs looking at him, so for me it’s a great thing that we have signed him on a contract.
“He’s got what he deserved and he will be looking to push into the first team in the next few weeks and beyond.”
Manager Paul Lambert, together with the backing of owner Marcus Evans, is committed to giving youth its chance in League One next season – and Chambers is adamant that the players in question are more than capable of taking on the responsibility.
“I think they are because a lot of them have played quite a lot of games now,” said Chambers.
“But it’s about getting the balance right because for all the positivity of having some top young players in the team I think it was a little bit of a wake-up call when we played Brentford the other night.
“We had a lot of young players and I’m not putting the blame on them at all – but you have to get the balance right.
“Maybe we tried to change too much last summer and in one game, at Sheffield Wednesday, we had only three players in the starting 11 who had played in the Championship.
“If we get the balance right between young players, experienced players, new signings and lads who have played in the division I think that will be a good formula for us winning games.
“The young lads receive great support from the football club and from the staff all the way through, including the players as well, because being in our dressing room it’s sink or swim at the end of the day.
“When I look back to when I was a young player no one’s got any time to bed you in and if you have a setback you have to show you can bounce back from it.
“That’s what they have learned and what they will have taken from their experiences this season.
“That will drive them on and they will want to be playing games next season, regardless of their age. If you’re good enough you’re old enough.”
League One will also be an opportunity for a number of players brought to the club by former manager Paul Hurst last summer, among them striker Kayden Jackson who helped Accrington Stanley to win the League Two title but was quickly lured to Portman Road before the end of the August transfer window.
Chambers added: “Look at the way Kayden has changed games for us when he’s come on over the last few weeks. I think he will be disappointed not to have played more. Jon Nolan’s another one, Toto [Nsiala] as well, while we’ve not seen as much of Ellis [Harrison] as we’d have liked.
“You can bed one or two in but when you’re changing eight out of your 11, getting them all up to speed that early has obviously not worked.
“We have four games left this season but we are already planning for next season.
“The manager will have his opinions on players and he will want to see how they do in the first team. There aren’t always that many opportunities to have a look at them and give them free hits.”
Chambers is no stranger to League One, having moved from Northampton to Nottingham Forest in January 2007 when they were in the third tier.
At the end of that season Forest were in the play-offs, only to miss out on promotion, but in his first full season the following year he helped Forest to go up as runners-up to champions Swansea.
He recalled: “When I joined Forest they had a very good group of players – players who went on to have very good careers.
“It was quite a young side and the club was in transition with a lot of older lads having left, which meant young lads aged 21 and 22 were stepping up.
“We had Grant Holt and Junior Agogo, who scored 20-odd goals, and Kris Commons, who got about 15.
“At the end of the day you need goals and we kept 26 clean sheets as well, so when you can score goals at one end and keep them out at the other you are going to win games.
“Let’s hope we can do the same next season. Somebody said it will be a chance for players to become heroes and I agree with that.
“In 10 months you can go from zero to hero and that’s something that should drive the players on.”
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