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Chambers: Not Acceptable For This Club
Sunday, 24th Jan 2021 10:41

Frustrated skipper Luke Chambers admits Town’s current position is “not acceptable for this club” and that the Blues, beaten 1-0 at home by Peterborough yesterday, have to start beating the division’s better sides if they are to be promotion contenders this season.

The loss to Posh, the Blues’ fifth home defeat in six, saw them drop to ninth in the table, two points off the play-offs but now 10 from the automatic promotion spots.

Asked what he made of Saturday’s game, settled by Mark McGuinness’s 69th-minute own goal, Chambers said: “It was a tough result to take, I think we played with a bit more intensity this week. The lads were certainly trying to press, certainly trying to implement the game plan.

“But we’re still leaving ourselves a mountain to climb a little bit, we’re missing chances, we’re giving chances away, so it’s a tough one. What do I say? It’s not good enough. Not good enough.”

What are the missing chances at one end and giving opportunities away at the other down to? “When you’re out on the pitch it’s just decision-making, you’ve got to make the right decisions at the right time.

“Listen, the goal, any centre-half playing there that’s happened to them before, so we can’t be starting to point fingers at anyone.

“It’s a tough one for Mark to take, he’s learning the game still, a young player. But those things are going against us at the minute.

“We’ve had chances at the end today, we probably haven’t created loads throughout the season, so when those come along we’ve got to make the difference.”

Town have beaten only two teams currently in the top 10, Accrington and Crewe earlier in the campaign when the Railwaymen were well down the table, while losing eight games against sides at the division's top end. Last season they won only twice against teams who finished among the 10 above them.

“If we want to be promotion contenders ourselves that’s the minimum requirement,” Chambers added when asked whether Town need to get that monkey off their back.

“We gave ourselves a decent enough platform, we got away with the penalty miss but I felt we played a little bit further up the pitch, we were higher as a defensive unit and we were able to get some pressure on them, so they didn’t cause loads of issues.

“But we’ve got to find a way to beat those better teams, the teams that are higher up the league if we want to be challenging at that top end.”

Is there a danger of there being a mental block when up against the top sides? “Whatever you guys talk about really. At the end of the day, it’s another game and another three points. You have to try and beat whatever’s in front of you. We find ourselves still in a good position in the league. We’ve got games in hand, we can still achieve something this season.

“I’m talking here with a lot of frustration but that happens half an hour after the game’s finished. It’s not all doom and gloom, we’ve got players coming back fit, we’ve got a lot more options, I think we’ve got a lot more legs in the team the last couple of weeks, which have shown more in our pressing and our defensive play.

“But we can’t just keep losing out in the fine details in games, that’s what we’re doing at the minute.”

Town are going into a period where games and opportunities to pick up points will quickly with no let-up.

“Every game’s an opportunity at the minute and we have to take it,” the 35-year-old added. “Games are coming thick and fast so there’s no point in dwelling on things, we have to put it right.

“I stand here as a footballer, I’ve been doing it for a long time now and what do you say? It’s not good enough to be beaten 1-0 at home against one of your promotion rivals when it was a game we could have taken something from.

“The games will come thick and fast now, we can whinge about it all the time but Saturday-Tuesday, Saturday-Tuesday is what you are as a footballer. You need to be ready, we need to prepare properly as players and be ready for the challenge on Tuesday again.”

The former Nottingham Forest and Northampton man continued: “It’s frustrating, look where we are. It’s not acceptable for this club, so I’m very frustrated but we have to keep going.

“We’ve got a game Tuesday [at home to Sunderland], like I said before, what do you say? You’ve got to keep spirits high in the dressing room, that’s what I keep trying to do for the boys, I put my arm around Mark at the end there just to say ‘Look, we’ve got another game on Tuesday, it’s not all your fault, you can’t put it on you because there’s a lot more to your life than football’.

“It eats away at the team at the minute, I’m going home Saturday night to see my wife and my kids and that won’t leave my mind, I won’t be a good person to be around for the next couple of days but you have to suck it up.

“There’s another game Tuesday and if selected we need to be ready to play and put in a performance because at the minute, when it counts we’re a bit short.”

Quizzed on whether spirits are keeping up in the dressing room, he said: “You have to, what can you do? We are living in unprecedented times and what are we going to do, let everything consume us, all the negativity, even if you don’t ready all the stuff, you can still feel the stuff that’s going on.

“But the boys have to keep going. As a footballer, you’re lucky that you have another game, but if you don’t perform over a long period of time, you won’t be playing at that level, that’s football.

“You have to be mentally strong and I think we’ve got to bounce back as a group and we’ll look to do that Saturday-Tuesday.

“All I can do here is talk about the game and how it went and how the situation is, a lot of frustration but I think we were a lot better on the front foot today, stopped them playing a lot more than we have against teams who seemed to have a lot more of the game than they should do, especially at home.

“I felt that was a positive we could definitely build on, as a said earlier, we had quite a few chances and we have to really score those.”

Is he concerned by the recent home form? “It had been good up until the last few weeks. We had a good start at home, that’s two [defeats] in a row.

“There are no fans here obviously but it’s still our patch. I don’t think we let them come here and cause us massive issues today, so that’s a positive but it’s very hard to talk immediately after a game when you’ve lost 1-0 in a game from which you think you probably should have got a bit more out of.”

Chambers says the returns of the likes of Teddy Bishop, Gwion Edwards and Flynn Downes after injury is another positive, as well as new recruits Josh Harrop, currently out having tested positive for Covid-19, and Luke Thomas, who made his debut as a sub against Posh.

“Exactly, they’ve been a miss but we’ve still had a big enough squad to really have a go at things,” he said. “I think we were lacking in a striker today. Obviously it was a big ask for Aaron [Drinan] who hasn’t played lots of minutes over recent weeks, it’s a tough gig for him up there on his own.

“We need the players back, we need them staying fit, it’s no good people just coming back for one game, it’s a tough ask. It’s going to be even more intense now, so we can’t wrap anyone up in cotton wool, you’ve got to be ready.

“It’s as simple as that, you’ve got to put your body on the line for this football club or there’s no point in you even being here.”

Striker trio James Norwood, Kayden Jackson and Oli Hawkins were all missing, the former two due to minor niggles and the ex-Portsmouth man as he has to undergo a knee operation.

Chambers says those players create a hole but he says that can’t keep being an excuse: “We’re missing some players, but what are we going to do, talk about that forever?

“What can you do about it? You can’t do anything about it, you’ve got to get on with it, there’s games. We’re not stopping games, we’ve got to play so it doesn’t really matter who is available we have to put the shirt on and produce, simple as that, everyone.

“We have to do that on Tuesday night, regardless of whether it’s on the TV, down the park, at the training ground, it’s here, it’s our home, there’s no fans, there’s no pressure, just go out there and try and play. That’s all it is, a bit of freedom of thought and just going out there and having to give your all.

“I think the lads do give their all in every game, you can’t question their commitment, you can’t question their endeavour, they’re trying their nuts off, it’s just not working out for us at the minute.”

Personally, he says he’s ready to play Saturday-Tuesday having operated in his less-favoured right-back role all season so far.

“Nothing changes for me, I’ll be available for my team-mates, for the club,” he said. “If I’m picked I’ll be ready to play, trying to do my bit.

“I’m a member of the team, I’m trying to motivate the boys and keep everyone going but at the end of the day we have to put in a team performance, one to 11, and the boys off the bench, we can make a lot of subs as well, so it’s definitely going to be a squad game over the next few weeks. But I’m ready to play as and when.”

Regarding new signings Harrop and Thomas, he said: “It just sums our luck at the minute, Josh getting diagnosed with Covid. They’ve looked sharp, they’re Championship level players, so they’re adding quality to the squad. It’s just a shame we couldn’t see Josh out here today because he made a real impact in his first session.

“He’s probably not played as much as he’d like to but Preston had a really good season last year and they’re up at the top end of the table, so to get a player of that quality, it’s going to make a big difference. However, we’re going to miss him for a few games now. We can’t keep looking at what’s not available, you’ve got to look at what is available.”

Looking ahead to Sunderland’s visit on Tuesday, Chambers is looking forward to it and to putting Saturday’s frustrations behind him.

“Yes, again, we’ve got to be ready to go,” he said. “What can you do? You can’t sit and sulk about it. There’s no one more frustrated about the situation than me, and the players themselves, so we have to stand up and be counted.

“What more do you say? These games are coming thick and fast and you can’t keep letting opportunities pass you by.”

Photo: Matchday Images

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Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 15:30 - Jan 24
I'm not sure Chambers was that much worse than everyone else yesterday. No one exactly covered himself in glory. Chambers' distribution was pretty poor though. It's ok to criticise his performance but unfair to question his commitment. No need to be abusive. Anyway, the big question is who else at the moment is there to take his place? Maybe Donacien. Oh, hang on a minute ....

johnwarksshorts added 15:52 - Jan 24
Ffs play 4 4 2! Simples coyb

dirtydingusmagee added 16:14 - Jan 24
Betty , you been on the sherbert ?

eddiespearitt03 added 16:15 - Jan 24
Chambers is not good enough for a starters. Some comforting words which are meaningless. To be honest i don,t really care what Chambers or anyone else has to say anymore. Just stating the obvious. We are a poor team in a poor league under a poor manager with an equally poor club owner.

If you want to beat Ipswich this season just attack.If you want a luke warm attack just plonk Sears up front. Some players have played their part in the decline of this club over the previous years .Some players have been at this club too long.If Evans knew more about football and the kind of players that make a difference he might of been able to build a squad instead of relying on the wrong decisions of others..

therein61 added 16:26 - Jan 24
You didn't appear upset after the Swindon match skipper what a fine example you are and now you come out with this drivel did Scuse send you a text telling you what to say.

norfolkbluey added 16:42 - Jan 24
Paul Lambert Has become an even worse loser than in his last couple of jobs but the owners of those clubs had the guts to ask him to leave. The way Chorley played this weekend totally out shon our effort against Peterborough in the first half which was there for the taking. That indicated to me the heart has gone out of the team. Marcus, never has there been a more important time to dig deeply into your pockets and take advice from other owners to secure the future of this club. It is slowly bleeding to death before your eyes. Do you want to be remembered with affection or disgrace? If it's affection do something with intent and change this direction fast or you will never be remembered with regard. We survived a penalty and yet we still lost. There is a losing mindset now and the results are not showing any real sign of positivity. Sunderland must be rubbing their hand with excitement. If we lose again on Tuesday surely the writing has to be seen even by you Marcus because everyone else and their auntie can see the problem. Basically a belligerent manager.

stiggytrunk1955 added 16:54 - Jan 24

moggasnotebook added 17:02 - Jan 24
I wonder how many posters have experience owning or running a multi million pound business? We are ALL entitled to an opinion and as fans we are very emotionally involved - but let’s get real...... no self respecting business man is going to sell up and lose £50million never mind £100m. No successful business man wants to give up on something that’s seen as a failure - and there is no way fans are going to force that to happen. If anything the nature of a self made multi millionaire (who can afford to sell, give it away, or just park it to one side) means that all these bad vibes will just make him more determined to not sell at a huge loss. Remember any asset is only sold at a loss when the final sale goes through - in the meantime ME has a chance of getting his money back or even a profit as long as he owns it. Unlikely? YES. May it take another 10 years? YES. But as long as he owns the club that ‘financial loss’ is an investment that still has a chance, albeit slim, of being returned to ME.

It’s like a roulette ball rattling around the roulette wheel for years and years, once it stops rolling at that point and only then do you have a loss or profit or your stake money back.

I was not an anti Lambert fan but there is no way we can blame ME for the last season and a half performance on the pitch - ME doesn’t play on the pitch AND I think everyone agrees that the squad that is assembled and our wage bill means we should be top two to get out of this league BUT SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH THE PLAYER’S MENTALITY AND COMMITMENT (that is more likely to not be ME’s fault than actually be his fault!). Players are putting a shift in for sure but busting a gut? Practically crawling off the pitch as they don’t have another ounce of effort to give? I don’t think so........

Not blaming him individually for our problems but Emyr Huws should be the best player in this division and controlling games, driving us forward - why is that not the case?

Finally, I don’t think any protest or a lot of ITFC fans on social media (not all) do anything to help OUR PLAYERS ON THE PITCH where it matters. It doesn’t help any players especially the younger ones or make us more attractive to a player looking to join us if he had other options.

Something needs to change and soon.... it’s not going to be the owner, and nor should it be today, so unfortunately it looks like if the next four games don’t bring 8 points (or 6 points with four excellent attacking performances) then a new manager is required.


Personally I would give a large sum of money to give the next pre match team talk and tell the players what us fans have been through, want to see and expect from the 90 mins as a bare minimum. If I don’t look in a players eyes and see that desire to win the game, to risk an injury, to want to win 40/60 tackles and to show for the ball then I wouldn’t care what the name was on the back of the shirt it would be a case of ‘take your boots off son, you’re not playing today’.

stiggytrunk1955 added 18:06 - Jan 24
mogasnotebook aka marcus evens lol

RobITFC added 18:11 - Jan 24
If/ When Lambert goes , does anyone trust evans to get his replacement right ? I don't !!

Leeco84 added 18:14 - Jan 24
Pathetic!!! P155 poor performance again. You would see better at your local leisure centre at amatuer football level and a hell of a lot more passion. This saga will drag on for a long time im afraid. Who in their rite mind would have gave out a 5 year contract last year to a shamble of a manager. A shamble of an owner!! A55holes

stiggytrunk1955 added 19:00 - Jan 24
cowley bros his not getting eddie howe evens just do it

Michael101 added 19:26 - Jan 24
Moggasnotebook, Evans not to blame,who appointed a succession of useless managers? Who never backed them in the transfer market?? Who keep McCarthy in work when he should have gone years before? Who gave Lambert a 5year contract just as everything was going tits up? If he made as many cockups in his ticket tout business no way would he be a millionaire.

BeattiesBackPocket added 21:10 - Jan 24
Moggasnotebook as mills says if you don’t let the owner players manager etc know it’s not good enough they’ll carry on thinking everything is ok and rosy! I’ll take a player who’s played for the club and England over you opinion any day! The attitude of some like we should be grateful to the guy for where we are! We’re the only set of fans I know who have put up with it this long even the likes of Blackburn has balls to kick over over their owners and guess what they’ve over taken us now! Get a grip

moggasnotebook added 21:53 - Jan 24
Michael101 - were you unhappy with any of ME’s managerial appointments at the time they were unannounced?

moggasnotebook added 21:58 - Jan 24
Beattiesbackpocket - Of course Mick Mills knows more than me! Of course you would listen to his opinion over mine (he’s played more games for the club than me.....) Mick is as frustrated as the rest of us.

Would you care to comment on the other points in my post or just the ‘protest’ point I make?

moggasnotebook added 22:10 - Jan 24
Michael101 - the 5 year contract was just a clever way of saying we are in this together long term at a time when we were having a bad run and the tide could turn against all the good work that had taken place bringing fans and club back together. Almost certainly instigated by PL but with ZERO additional compensation to what was already in place therefore it was just a way of trying to keep us all together at a time there was no need to extend PL contract, just a need to try and keep moving forward with fans and club looking forward not backwards. Clever or daft depends on what you know but don’t think for one minute ME extended the contract for 5 years with big £ compensation being added.

Michael101 added 10:19 - Jan 25
Moggasnotebook, I wasnt on this site when any other manager was appointed.but I will say this when Keane got the job I thought he would be ok after what Jeff at Sunderland a team bottoming October to promotion in may ( how wrong was I there) as for break and McCartney I never wanted them here from day one ,Hurst was a gamble that backfired,ancestor Lambert I wasn't sure at the time but I think now he should go.

Michael101 added 10:21 - Jan 25
Jewell & McCarthy

BluedanW added 18:42 - Jan 25
Why ask the question "is it a mental block issue when playing the bigger clubs"?
Weve looked poor against all teams, not just the top teams. We were lucky to get many of our wins this season. Only played well once all season at Blackpool

Old_Blu added 19:50 - Jan 25
Can't drop Chambers as we have no right back? I believe that Woolfenden can play there and his passing ability is far superior to Chambers, he is younger and quicker and can run with the ball. Teams are aware of our weakness in both full-backs and exploit it every game. The fact that Woolfenden was laughing when we lost may be something to do with what a joke we are currently.

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