Chambers: To Have Kane Back Would Be Massive
Friday, 18th Dec 2020 12:20
Town captain Luke Chambers believes the return to full fitness of Kane Vincent-Young, who has not played for over a year, will be a huge bonus during the second half of the League One campaign.
Vincent-Young, who was signed from Colchester in August 2019, was an instant success with Blues’ supporters when he netted twice in his opening six games for the club. But he played on just three further occasions and had only been on the losing side once when he succumbed to an achilles injury that required surgery and has led to him being him sidelined for close on 14 months.
He is now back in training and likely to return to first-team action in the coming weeks along with several others who have been absent recently. A fully-fit Vincent-Young is likely to claim the right-back slot with Chambers, who has been filling in this season, likely to switch to his familiar role in the middle of the Town defence.
Chambers said: “We need our good players back and that certainly applies to Kane. We need the Kane Vincent-Young who came here, played nine games and was absolutely fantastic, so as soon as he is fit and available he is someone we need to get in the team.”
Asked if he and Vincent-Young could work in tandem on the right side of the team, Chambers laughed: “I don’t see why not. He can play at right-back and I’ll go and play as a wing-back!
“No, seriously, throughout his career and starting when he was a young lad at Tottenham he has shown what he can do flying down the right flank. When he’s on the pitch he spends half his time on the wing, so it’s about whatever is required.
“You know me, if I’m required to play at right-back, centre-half, left-back, central midfield, right wing, goalie, I’ll do it. I’m just trying to be out there, to be available to my team-mates and that’s probably one of the reasons why I have played so many games.
“To have Kane back would be massive but we’re trying to get everyone back that’s injured at the moment. To be where we are in the league with everything we’ve had to deal with, I don’t think we’re doing too badly.”
Chambers, 35, recently passed the 750 career appearances mark for Northampton, Nottingham Forest and, of course, Town. Did he ever imagine, when he started out with the Cobblers, that he would go on to celebrate such a significant career milestone?
“No, when you are starting in the game you never think you are going to play that many games,” he admitted.
“You just try to get your first one and you hope you do well enough to get a second one. You are trying to prove people wrong in your third and I’m still trying to do that after more than 750. No, I don’t know about that, really.
“I know what I’ve achieved in my career and what sort of player I’ve been. After every game I know I can look at myself in the mirror knowing I have given my best and tried to make my family and my friends proud of me. What more can you do?”
In recent years Chambers has been a target for criticism from a section of the Town support, which has been like water off a duck’s back to such a seasoned pro. Asked if he could make it 800 appearances in the future, he responded: “Easily, but for now I just have to keep trying to play well in this right-back slot.
“I still feel I’m playing pretty well at right-back. When we are playing the so-called bigger teams in the league I’ve had to rein it in a bit with regard to my attacking play, I suppose.
“We have had so many changes and on occasions we’ve been short of experience down the spine of the team. That has maybe meant us having to sit back a little bit. But I still feel I am playing well and that’s me being brutally honest.”
With so many senior players crocked this season, manager Paul Lambert has had no alternative but to blood a number of raw youngsters and Chambers added: “We’ve used lots of them and it’s fantastic to see them dipping their toe in.
“But it’s also important to have consistency, so if they are playing it’s more difficult for them to continually play at the required level and that’s especially difficult when the team is going through a sticky patch because so many senior players are injured.
“It’s great credit to the young lads for the way they have come into the side and earlier in the season, when we had the Carabao Cup and EFL Trophy games, they all did fantastically well.
“They are at a club where they are being given opportunities and that speaks volumes for the club and what we are trying to achieve.
“It is always difficult when you have six or seven boys who are trying to find their feet in the first team but that is the situation we are in right now.
“We’re having to chuck them in when, under different circumstances, they would probably have to wait a bit longer for their opportunity. They can be proud of themselves for doing really, really well.”
Photo: Matchday Images
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