Chambers: We Still Feel We've Got an Opportunity
Sunday, 3rd May 2020 11:57
Skipper Luke Chambers still believes that the Blues will have an opportunity to get their 2019/20 season back on track once football returns with the return of previously injured players providing a boost.
Town had dropped to 10th in League One, seven points off the play-offs having played a game more than Peterborough in sixth when football was suspended due to the coronavirus crisis on March 13th. Their form over the previous six games was the worst in League One.
As things stand, the EFL is hoping to get the season back under way on June 6th with players expected back at their clubs from May 16th. The Blues have eight games to play, five at home, three away.
Chambers, who recently became a father for the fourth time, says he and his family are coping with the lockdown and that he has been working on his fitness while away from the club.
“We’re surviving alright, we’re getting through it,” he told talkSPORT (6mins 40secs). “It is a tough one, you try and do a mixture of things, a bit of bike, a bit of running, but replicating that training every day is very difficult and not having a set date when we’re supposed to start back makes it a bit more difficult to have that motivation regarding how hard you have to go.”
Reflecting on Town’s season, which started so positively but fell away so badly, Chambers insists no one is giving up on the chances of making the play-offs.
“We still feel that we’ve got an opportunity if and when the season restarts to have a go. But we’re not where we want to be, obviously,” he added.
“We had a really good start and we felt we could really achieve something this year. We had some injuries to some key players and players playing through the barrier but we just seemed to have our confidence knocked around the October time and haven’t recovered the fluency to our play that we had in the first 15 games when we were flying for whatever reason that was. I can’t put my finger on it as it stands at the minute.”
Was the strength of League One a surprise? “I think we were mainly focusing on ourselves at the start and then for whatever reason, we had a lot of changes in the team and we found it difficult to get that rhythm back.
“It is a tough league, games come thick and fast, you’ve obviously got the other trophies that you have to play a lot of games in.
“It’s not been a shock but maybe [it was] our mindset was when we were flying, did we take our foot off the gas a little bit? I don’t know.”
Asked about Town’s injury situation, Chambers added: “It’s hard to sit here and try and make excuses but some of the players we lost to injury would have been in our team week in, week out.
“For any team at any level, you’re going to find it difficult when you’re trying to put a run together to challenge for promotion when you’re losing those players, and that coincided with our form dipping a little bit and we haven’t really got that group back together for the rest of the season. We’re hoping this can be a positive and we’ll have people back.”
With the likes of James Norwood, Kane Vincent-Young, Alan Judge, Jack Lankester and Danny Rowe all likely to be available if and when the season resumes, Chambers says the squad have talked about the campaign being given new impetus.
“The manager’s been on the phone to us a few times and we’ve has group chats, just seeing how we all feel really,” he said.
“I definitely think we can try and use this as a reset, and we have to really. We’ll have virtually everyone available. That’s been a bonus, having some time off players have really been able to recover from injuries and been working through their recoveries and they’ll be ready to go.
“Having the squad that we’ve got and having everyone fit, we’d like to think we’d have a good run in.
“Having that freshness of the mind and just going through what we’ve all gone through, hopefully that will take the pressure off us, because at the end of the day we’re playing in front of 20,000 in League One.
“Some of the players haven’t been used to that in their careers so it’s another thing that they have to overcome and be prepared to be one of the biggest teams in the league and have that responsibility and expectation on their shoulders.”
Today would have been the final day of the season with the Blues due to host the MK Dons.
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