Chambers: It Would Be Failure If We Don’t Go Up
Friday, 7th Feb 2020 11:25
Town skipper Luke Chambers admits he will regard it as failure if he doesn’t manage to lead the club back to the Championship at the first time of asking.
The Blues’ prospects have dimmed recently as a result of successive defeats to promotion rivals in the space of four days. First of all to Rotherham, the current leaders, and then Peterborough, who leapfrogged Paul Lambert’s men with their 4-1 win at Portman Road last weekend.
Chambers, 34, said: “It would be failure if we don’t go up. We need to bounce back as quickly as possible. I think we have a strong group of players, one that is definitely still learning even at this level.
“A few of the boys still haven’t played consistently at this level and we need to produce. Yes, the pressure’s on, but no matter the division you are in, when you are playing for Ipswich Town the pressure is there.”
The long-serving defender, who has clocked up 347 appearances since being signed by then manager Paul Jewell in 2012, has also vowed not to trot out any excuses – injuries, bad luck, poor decisions by referees etc – if the mission does not succeed.
“”It’s exactly the same for every other club,” he added. “You can make all the excuses in the world but ultimately it will lie at our door and we just need to respond over the 15 games we have left.
“We had a fantastic run at the start of the season that put us top of the league and we’ll be trying to replicate that over the next 15.
Asked for his reaction to the defeats by the in-form Millers and Posh, Chambers continued: “I wouldn’t say worrying, I would say very, very disappointing. Obviously, you go into those games looking to take as much as you can out of them and to give a good account of yourselves.
“I think we let ourselves down a bit – well, definitely so, especially at the weekend.
“We felt we started well but gave two silly goals away and once you do that against a team that had been as ruthless as they had in their previous games it’s always difficult to get back into the game.
“We dwelt on that for a couple of days and since then we’ve been fully focused on the next one in front of us. That’s all we can do at the moment.”
Next up for Town is tomorrow’s trip to face seventh-placed Sunderland, who trail Chambers & Co by three points but also have a game in hand on them.
The Black Cats, who have lost just once at home all season in the league, ended a nine-game unbeaten run when they went down 2-0 at another side chasing promotion, sixth-placed Portsmouth, last weekend.
The Blues will be out to improve on a poor record against their main rivals for the step-up to the second tier. In 10 games against the other eight teams in League One’s top nine they have not registered a single victory, drawing six and losing four to bank a mere six points from a possible 30.
But, asked if Town are capable of registering a win against the sides around them in the table, Chambers added: “Yes, absolutely. We’ve had good stages in the season and we’ve had poor stages in the season, but we’re looking at the last 15 games to try to replicate what we did in the first 15.
“If I knew the answer to why we haven’t done it so far I probably wouldn’t be sat here.
“I don’t know, maybe we put so much emphasis on ourselves to beat them.
“Sometimes you can try too hard and do things that are unnatural to you. I haven’t really got the answer as to why we haven’t but we need to try to do that from now until the end of the season.
“We’ll probably have to beat one or more of those teams before the end of the season.
“We find ourselves in fourth place in the league, having not won one of those games against the top sides, but we’ve got to put a run together between now and the end of the season and that will require beating someone in and around us.”
Chambers, who has come in for plenty of criticism himself this season, has no problem with the supporters venting their frustration, adding: “I absolutely get it. They are well within their rights to demand better from us. I don’t really like sitting here and talking because it’s not going to help anyone.
“In fact, to be perfectly honest, I don’t really want to do it. But it’s a part of my job that I have to do. The talking’s got to stop and we’ve just got to produce on the pitch, simple as that.
“It’s a massive game at Sunderland. We’ve got a big week coming up with three games and I think we’ve responded to that quite well so far this season.
“We’re looking forward to it and I feel we’re better when we’re playing regularly with games in front of us.
“We’ve got something in mind that we want to take from the next three games and that’s what we’re looking to do.
“Our away record this season is very good and we’ve got to continue that. We also know we must improve our home form. We’ve got a lot of games left at Portman Road this season and after the next three games it will be clearer what we need to do from then until the end of the season.
“Is the pressure on Sunderland tomorrow? I genuinely believe the pressure’s on everyone in the bunch at the top of the league, no more so than us. It’s about how we handle it and how we perform.
“We haven’t done that in the last two games but before that we won three and drew two, and we ended up at the top of the league.
“Things can change so quickly. You lose a game and it feels like it’s the end of the world.
“For me, personally, I go home and for a couple of days after a defeat it’s awful. But it’s about refocusing and seeing there is another game coming up. We’ve got 15 left – 15 cup finals.”
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