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Chambers: We Are Still in Such a Good Position
Friday, 7th Feb 2020 14:26

Captain Luke Chambers says he would gladly have accepted Town’s current position in League One – fourth, three points behind the leaders and 15 games left to play – before a ball was even kicked this season.

While the Blues were early-season leaders, seven points clear of the third-placed side, and have seen their promotion prospects diminish somewhat, Chambers believes they are still well-placed to realise their end-of-season ambition of regaining their Championship status.

The 34-year-old defender said: “Fourth, three points behind the leaders? From the crap we went through last year and the way this place was, yes, I think we probably would have taken that.

“I also think the whole Ipswich Town fan base, the people connected with the club the way it was, I think everyone would have taken it.

“Because we had such a great start things are a little bit tinged with disappointment at the moment – and rightly so. We can’t be getting beaten 4-1 at home by one of our promotion rivals.

“But, at the end of the day, it’s three points and things can turn around so quickly, so we can’t get too disappointed. We can’t get too excited when things are going well either.

"It’s about achieving the consistency we need between now and the end of the season to meet our ambition.”

Teams who come down from the second tier automatically carry a burden of expectation and nobody knows that better than tomorrow’s opponents, Sunderland, who finished bottom of the Premier League and the Championship in successive seasons to find themselves in League One last term.

The Black Cats were strong favourites to win the title and only lost five games – Town have suffered seven defeats so far in the current campaign – but a surplus of draws saw them finish fifth before going on to lose in the play-off final at Wembley to Charlton Athletic.

Sunderland are in the promotion mix again this season, last week’s 2-0 loss at Portsmouth their first in 10 league games, and their fans are anxious that last season’s near-miss, which played a part in manager Jack Ross making way for Phil Parkinson in October, is not repeated.

Chambers added: “It doesn’t matter which team you are, the moment you start to do well the pressure and the expectation automatically builds, and then it transfers through from the stands on to the pitch.

“It’s about how you handle it. We handled the first 15 games of this season to transform the mindset of the club, the team and everyone around it, fantastically well, and we’ve almost got to go back and recapture that all over again if we’re going to produce what we need to get back to where we want to be.

“Sunderland are under a lot of pressure because of the size of the club. Whether or not they have the players for it, or if we have the players for it, remains to be seen. It’s all about the situation we are in and whether we can handle it and see it through.

“Can we handle it and would we have taken this position when we started out back in August? I think the answer’s got to be yes. We are still in such a good position.

“I know we have said it before but we responded from the first of January and found ourselves at the top of the league. There’s no reason why, within the next week or so, we can’t be back in that position again.

“We’ve got to keep things realistic. Every game is three points, so if you can take as many of them as possible and not lose too many it’s simple maths.

“We need to produce the performances we produced earlier in January and carry them into the next 15 games through to the end of the season.”

Town suffered a serious setback in losing to rivals Rotherham and Peterborough within the space of four days last week and Chambers reflected: “I felt we had turned the corner but I thought Rotherham outplayed us and deserved to win, although we could still have got something out of that game. That’s how close the margins are in this league.

“We gave Peterborough a 2-0 head start so we were chasing the game and got hit by sucker punches. A big part of it was self-inflicted. First 20 minutes we started well and then, all of a sudden, bang, it’s a penalty and we’re behind. Then we gave a silly second goal away and you’re thinking ‘How did that happen?’ But it’s not panic stations and I didn’t think it was a 4-1 game.

“When you sit down and try to see where things have gone wrong it’s easy to say we were crap, we were s***, we got battered. But I don’t think that was the story of the game.

“We were two-nil down against a free-scoring team and that was always going to be a mountain to climb.

“It’s who we are, the fan base we have, our history. Teams are fired up at Portman Road and it’s a difficult enough task before you start giving goals away to make their job so much easier.”

Chambers had plenty of sympathy for on-loan Wolves keeper Will Norris, whose error in being dispossessed by Sammie Szmodics for the visitors’ second goal proved so costly and meant Town had a near-impossible task thereafter.

He said: “That sort of thing is part and parcel of football. I spoke to him and reminded him that in the 1-1 home draw with Sunderland at the start of the season I was the one who made the mistake that cost us two points.

“There’s always a risk of something like that happening, especially if you play at the back, and if you’re a goalie, well, a mistake is usually followed by a goal.

“Will is big enough and his personality is more than strong enough for that to bounce off him.

“He knows he should have cleared the ball so there’s no reason why anyone should go up to him and say ‘You should have done this, you should have done that’. It’s glaringly obvious.

“He has done really, really well when he’s played and he’s a tremendous part of this squad who will be needed between now and the end of the season.

“You have to put these things behind you or they eat away at your confidence and you can never again be the same player that you were when you were playing well.”

Looking to the future, Chambers added: “The way I see it, we are now starting a 15-game season. Everyone has raised their game against us so far and it’s up to us to raise our game against everyone else now.

“We still have a fantastic opportunity and we should be thriving on the pressure, regardless of what league we are in.

“It is a chance for us to earn our place in the history of the club. We had the negative side of it last season and we should be striving to turn it into a positive this year.”

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raycrawfordswig added 14:43 - Feb 7
Stop talking and do it on the pitch.

BeattiesBackPocket added 15:02 - Feb 7
Problem is chambo we haven’t beaten any of the top 8 teams and if we lose Saturday could be out the playoff positions. If we don’t finish in automatic position with the richest owner outside the top flight, average gates over 20,000, and this competitive squad O’Neil said we had then I don’t know much about it! We can’t beat a top 8 side so playoffs for us would be a nightmare!

DifferentGravy added 15:10 - Feb 7
Ha! Sent another one out to appease the masses.

Its a fair point, perhaps some fans would have taken this scenario at the end of last season.

The problem is, we were in an incredible position earlier on. Several points ahead with games in hand. Yet the manager contrived to blow it by rotating the squad. Which irked many fans who felt it was responsible for our decline. Then, having not beaten a team from the top 8 and carrying injuries, the owner decided not bolster the squad, with a few key signings(and like the other top teams have done)

So in summation Chambers, given we were top and sitting pretty......YES....the expectancy from all was to get promoted.......and with a multi millionaire owner......YES....we hoped he would strengthen in the January transfer window to get us over the line........and when all is said and done........YES it will be a failure on the owners/managers(5 year contract?!?!) and the players part..........because the fans have been magnificent.

JaySwitch added 15:12 - Feb 7
3from1 👏


dirtydingusmagee added 15:38 - Feb 7
SPARE US Chambo please, just get get everyone playing for 90mins ,and showing some passion .

multiplescoregasms added 15:52 - Feb 7
And how many teams below us have got games in hand Chambo? Our home form is awful and last Saturday was just an embarrassment. I seriously don't see us getting anything out of tomorrow. and sadly think we will lose by 3, but hope i am very wrong. Accept it, we are no where near getting back into the Championship with the current squad. Sorry chaps.

carlo88 added 16:10 - Feb 7
We ain't going to turn things around quickly with one shot on target all game Luke.

runningout added 16:18 - Feb 7
Even if we were top of any league, I would hope the team never rest on their laurels. Playing catch up is the same. You just need to remind some team mates while training, not after ghastly defeats

cat added 17:06 - Feb 7
Agree it’s still achievable and completely in our hands, but pish poor performances like last weeks offering ain’t gonna convince anyone.

blueboy1981 added 17:06 - Feb 7
Just concentrate on defending Chambo - and getting results.

ITFCsince73 added 17:59 - Feb 7
Rotherham could be 8 points above us by the time we KO.
Sunderland don’t lose at home.
Looking for a positive....it’s exciting times.
The next available 6 points, could put us top 2, or closer to mid table.

dannyrr added 18:49 - Feb 7
We would be in a fantastic position if they were more consistent and could turn up to play at home.

Doctor_Earman added 19:14 - Feb 7
We ain't 3 points behind the leaders you muppet. We're 5 points off Rotherham. Jeez footballers aren't very smart are they?

jas0999 added 19:57 - Feb 7
Yet more unbelievable spin. Happy with fourth at this stage? Really?

ITFCsince73 added 20:55 - Feb 7
Rotherham take the lead, and with it a 8 point cushion over us.
Taken the lead where we got humiliated not many weeks back. Conceding 5.

ITFCsince73 added 21:03 - Feb 7
I know a lot can change in 8 hours. But not in a good position now.
1 automatic spot already taken, by the leagues strongest team.
Coventry only lost 3 all season, Pompey unbeaten at home. Both have games in hand over us.
This weeks game for us is now a 6 pointer.

blue86 added 21:13 - Feb 7
I know the players have to speak to the press etc, but a while ago it was "every game is a cup final" then "make Portman road a fortress " now "15 games" please stop the talking and get it done! Please! No more excuses, holy back In goal, norwood to start. COYB!

blueboy1981 added 21:19 - Feb 7
We’d certainly be top of the league in talk, spin, and excuses for failure.
Get stuck in you lot, roll the sleeves up, and follow the ‘little old Rotherham’ example.
Would make a change from talking .... !! - about how well we’re doing.

Letchworth_Blue added 22:08 - Feb 7
We were in a great position. We are now in a precarious one of whether we drop out of the playoffs or not.

Daleyitfc added 22:44 - Feb 7
Dross : on the pitch, and what he talks.

ITFCsince73 added 22:57 - Feb 7
Won’t see top spot again. And that’s our own doing.
All teams below us with games in hand, enough to make us mid table.
Better teams around us, who get better results than us.
Now onto one of L1,s better sides, especially on their own turf.
In there best run of form this season.
It will need a performance of the season from us to get anything.
Over to you Lambo. Over to you Chambo. We need to step up quick before it’s to late.

BlueBanana added 01:43 - Feb 8
Idiot. He's been a part of us being in the worst league position in 60+ years. If we don't get promotion he needs to stop lingering around and taking a wage from our Club. I used to love him, but he just comes across as a dip sh*t

dirtydingusmagee added 09:00 - Feb 8
we are in a good position ! thought he must be reading the Kama Sutra , but no, its our position in the 3rd tier of football.

Linkboy13 added 09:51 - Feb 8
Yes but it's slowly slipping away wont be long before we're saying we can still make the play offs .

TimmyH added 10:34 - Feb 8
Never rest on your laurels!...fact is we're not in half a good a position as we were back in late October...and form now is very patchy.

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