Chambers: Huge to Be Alongside Club's Biggest Names
Friday, 23rd Oct 2020 14:31
Town skipper Luke Chambers says it’s “huge” to be alongside some of the biggest names in the club’s history having broken into the Blues’ all-time top 10 league appearance-makers earlier in the week.
Chambers clocked up his 344th league game for the Blues at Doncaster, putting him level with deep-lying winger Jimmy Leadbetter, a vital member of Alf Ramsey’s 1962 League Championship-winning side and the only Scottish footballer to also win Third Division (South) and Second Division medals with the same club. The 35-year-old will edge ahead of Leadbetter and stand alone in 10th at Lincoln tomorrow.
Asked what it meant to him, Chambers replied: “It’s incredible but I haven’t really thought about it too much to be honest. I’ve been too busy wallowing in the defeat at Doncaster on Tuesday night.
“For me, personally, it’s huge to be up there with some of the big hitters in the history of the club, albeit not in the same illustrious circumstances.
“It’s still something they can’t take away from me. I feel I’ve given really good service to the club and it wasn’t something I ever envisaged when I first signed.
“I’ve done it here and elsewhere – I’m close to 750 games overall – and I’m fortunate that I’m here for my ninth season. Long may it continue.”
Could he carry on beyond the current campaign and perhaps cement his place further into the top 10? He added: “I feel as fit as I can be and I think I’m showing that in the games I play.
“As long as I’m playing well and I’m helping the team I’d like to think that age will just be a number. I just want to enjoy my football for as long as possible and if I fly up the list of the top 10 appearance makers, fantastic.
“I’m never going to be at the level of some of the lads at the top but that’s just the way football is these days.
“The history of the club is fantastic and to be involved in that is a great feeling.
“I’ve given nearly 10 years of my life to the club, and the area if you like, and it’s something I will always look back on with great pride and know that I earned my place in the record books.
“But to be honest I don’t really want to talk about the personal stuff too much. It’s great for me and my family – they’re the ones I do it for – but the only thing that matters is success for the team and the club.
“The last few years haven’t been great and even before that, although we were close on occasions. It’s not something that sits well with me but at the end of the day I’m just a cog in the organisation and I can only do my own part really.”
Chambers will take nothing for granted but it would be a huge shock of manager Paul Lambert did not stick with him in the right-back role in which he has impressed throughout Town’s start to the season and even when it came to a shuddering halt at the Keepmoat Stadium on Tuesday the skipper was widely regarded as blameless for the defensive horror show that gifted Doncaster all three points.
A kneejerk reaction from Lambert is the last thing supporters will expect at Lincoln tomorrow and Chambers added: “All you can do in the circumstances is look at the result and the performance over a 24-hour period, and see where the mistakes were made.
“The goals were avoidable but we actually started the game really, really well and they couldn’t get near us in the first half-hour or so. But we changed what we were doing to bring us success and we gave the game away after that.”
Chambers turned his attention to Town’s favoured system of playing out from the back, adding: “It was down to the gaffer. If you remember, as soon as he came to the club we played the way we are trying to play now, with the same practices and patterns. That was in the Championship and we couldn’t put the ball in the net.
“We’ve now got back to how he wants us to play and you can see from phases in all our games that it works. The lads are thriving on it. They know what position to be in at any time on the pitch and it helps no end because it makes our decision-making so much easier.
“We don’t have to find a pass while we’re being pressed by two opponents because everyone is where they need to be. If I look up and my team-mates are not in the positions where they should be you might hear a few expletives coming out of my mouth.
“I’m trying to make a difference to us going forward as well as at the back. We’ve had a good start defensively with just two goals conceded in six games before what happened at Doncaster on Tuesday let us down.
“We’ve also had a good start going forward with a number of different goalscorers from all over the pitch.
“I just feel with the way I play that it’s quite an aggressive style of football around the pitch, in terms of my movement and my attacking runs.
“For example, if Judgey is playing on the right side, it allows him to move into a pocket and for me to be the furthest forward.”
Talking about his role as club captain and how he embraces it beyond the normal match-day duties, Chambers explained: “That’s just me as a person, not because I’m the skipper. I’ve been in touch with all the injured boys asking what they need and when they need it.
“And it’s not just the young lads because Skusey has had an op and is going to be out for longer than he expected. I just try to be there for them if they need a bit of help, even if it’s just giving them a lift into training.
“It can be anything, a phone call or a text conversation for example. I’ve been with these guys for a long time and they’re not just team-mates, they are friends I will have for the rest of my life and at the end of the day that’s all that matters.
“That’s always been my personality since I was a kid. Whoever you are, and whether I’m captain or not, it’s not going to change the way I behave. You can be a long time forgotten in football.
“As soon as you are out of the team or out of the club, that’s it. It’s just about being a good person, which is all I’ve ever tried to be. I like to help people and treat them how I like to be treated, and it’s not something I see as being out of the ordinary in any way.”
Chambers also reacted to Freddie Sears’s recent revelation that the skipper might fancy taking on free-kick duty around the opposition box.
“I noticed he said something about that,” laughed the long-serving defender. “I feel I’ve got a decent technique in that regard but at the end of the day, if someone fancies it on the day and they’ve worked on it in training they are well within their rights to have a go.
“It’s something we have lacked over the last few years, albeit Garbs [on-loan Luke Garbutt] was good for us last season.
“But I’m very confident at the moment so when an opportunity arises I want to put my name in the hat to have a go.”
Photo: Matchday Images
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