Chambers: I Won't Like It When I'm Left Out But We All Know the Situation With Squad Rotation
Wednesday, 25th Sep 2019 11:57
Skipper Luke Chambers doesn’t mind admitting he is not a fan of squad rotation, which manager Paul Lambert has been utilising to good effect this season to take Town to the top of the League One table.
Chambers is quick to point out that he understands why Lambert chooses to stick to his policy of resting players, explaining: “At the end of the day the manager is the manager and he picks the team.
“He’s got a very good squad, the envy of the league, to work with and he has two players of quality for every position in the team.
“We all know the situation when it comes to squad rotation. I won’t like it when I’m left out and hopefully it won’t happen.
“I’m fit enough, I’m strong enough and I’ve proved in the last 15 years that I can play 46 to 50 games a season. But at the end of the day I will do whatever is required for this team to be successful.
“I understand the games will come thick and fast but I’d like to think I’ll be playing on Saturday.
“However, that’s the manager’s decision and I’ve always been in the mindset that whatever the manager says goes.
“We have a good relationship and it is what it is. When I’m left out I won’t be happy but he understands that as well.
"If he sees my stats drop or the fitness coach is telling him I need a rest, so be it, but my view is that I don’t need a rest.”
Chambers hopes to be part of a record-breaking accomplishment when Tranmere are the visitors to Portman Road this weekend.
“If Town keep a sixth successive league clean sheet it will be a new club record and, on a personal note, he is hoping to become the only defender from the last time five in a row was achieved – towards the end of the 2012/13 season – to be rewriting the record books.
He smiled at being reminded of the fact and couldn’t resist a dig at his critics, those who have cast doubt over his ability to hold down a regular place in the side. “I’m the one who’s not good enough any more,” he added. “Too old and this, that and the other.
“We’ve had some good defences in the past and we had a good season back then when we had to really, really dig in to do well.
“It’s a nice thing to be connected with but we are where we are and I still don’t enjoy talking about us being in League One.
“We want to get out of it as soon as possible and if we can keep over 25 clean sheets this season we’ll be right up there.
“We’re not under too much pressure in games and that is probably down to the difference in quality.
“It’s undeniable because in the Championship, if they get half a chance, they are either hitting the target or you’re having to make a block or they’re scoring a goal.
“We’re getting chances, we’re scoring goals and we’ve got goals from all over the pitch, which is a huge thing that we haven’t had for the last few years.
“It was our right-back [Kane Vincent-Young] last week, Jon Nolan came in and scored at MK Dons and I scored a goal at Peterborough.
“The strikers are desperate to score goals and have scored goals, we’ve got Will Keane back now and when Emyr Huws is on the pitch he carries a threat too.
“Even Skusey might grab one or two – he’s had a few shots this season – and he deserves a mention for reaching 250 games for the club.
“Fantastic servant, he doesn’t get the praise he deserves and all he’s ever done is the job he’s been asked to do by the managers.
“He’s done it very, very well and if you’re a player you want him in your team. I’m delighted for him that he’s been able to be here and do the job he’s done for the club and hopefully we can continue to do that moving forward so that we can win promotion.”
Chambers has only been a ‘victim’ of the squad rotation policy on one occasions this season, being left out for the visit of Wimbledon when Town trailed at half-time but hit back twice in the second half as James Norwood levelled and Kayden Jackson fired in a dramatic stoppage-time winner.
“I sat that one out and it was even harder to watch,” added Chambers, who turns 34 on Saturday.
“We managed to show tremendous character and keep going. It wasn’t the first time we’ve scored a late goal and it won’t be the last. That’s the sort of mentality we have managed to create from the first day of pre-season training.
“We knew there would be setbacks but we haven’t had too many of them so far and it’s been pretty much smooth sailing. But they will come and we’re fully prepared for them. It’s about how we handle them.
“We had a draw but came off feeling we’d been beaten by Doncaster and responded by winning two away games in a row, which is all that could be asked of the boys.”
Finally, Chambers turned his attention to the Town fans, who have bought more season tickets for the current campaign than they did for the past few Championship seasons and are travelling to away fixtures in mind-boggling numbers.
“It’s unreal,” he said. “You always want to win for yourself but we want to win for that support.
“It doesn’t feel like they’re waiting with bated breath to jump on a mistake or a bad pass and while there might be the odd one or two murmurings from people who have things they want to say, overall the support has been fantastic.
“More than two thousand fans away at Gillingham, over three thousand on a Tuesday night at MK Dons? It’s unreal and the confidence is there, which we’re thriving off. We’re enjoying it again and long may it continue.”
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