Lambert on Chambers: Excellent, Really, Really Good
Friday, 16th Oct 2020 11:45
Boss Paul Lambert has praised skipper Luke Chambers’s start to the season playing in his less-favoured right-back role.
Chambers, 35, played much of his football in that role during Mick McCarthy’s early seasons at the club but has made no secret that he prefers to operate at the centre of the defence.
However, with Kane Vincent-Young out with an achilles injury, the former Northampton and Nottingham Forest man, now in his ninth season at Portman Road, has returned to full-back and has thrived, even smashing home the best goal of his career and his second of the season at Blackpool last week.
“He’s doing excellent, really, really good,” Lambert said. “I’m really pleased how he’s adapted and I think he’s enjoying being there on that side.
“I think the level of his performances has been really, really high and his goal last week was an incredible strike. I’m really, really pleased with how he has played, really good.”
He added: “I think the way we’re playing everybody has to take part in the game to play well and everybody has to take part in the game for the team to play well.
“That’s important, and if you get 11 guys playing together, then it can be really, really strong.”
While Lambert said last week that he hoped Vincent-Young might be back next month, would Chambers be able to play the role for the whole season if required?
“Only his performances will tell me,” Lambert continued. “If he dips or if he gets little knocks or whatever, only Luke will be the judge of that.
“He’s set himself a standard that I think has been so high. He’s been playing really well. Can he go right through the whole season? Yes, he can, but he has to maintain that standard and the way he is performing. But his performances at this moment have been incredibly high.”
That Chambers, and also the similarly veteran Stephen Ward on the other flank, are still able to play such a demanding position is down to their professionalism over their careers, the Blues boss believes.
“And I’m talking about from when Luke started when he was 15, 16 or 17 years old. He’s looked after himself from that age right through to 35 which is great, and I’ve got a lot of admiration for people like that, that look after themselves and don’t let age become a barrier where they let themselves go.
“He’s looked after himself that way. When you stop playing football then your reality becomes normal and your body becomes different to what you were as a footballer, so I’ve got a lot of admiration for people like him, Stephen Ward, Cole Skuse and all those that are in their thirties and still in good nick. He wouldn’t have had the career he had if he didn’t look after himself.”
“It’s important because Luke needed help from Wardy on the experience side of it.
“You need experience to help not just on the pitch but off it as well when things go a little bit different from normal.”
Photo: Matchday Images
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