Chambers: A Disappointment But We've Another Game Tuesday
Sunday, 7th Mar 2021 10:22
Luke Chambers admitted it was disappointing that the Paul Cook era got off to a losing start as the Blues were defeated 3-1 at Gillingham, despite the skipper having levelled the score with his third goal of the season.
After a week in which the mood at the club has changed dramatically following Paul Lambert’s departure and Paul Cook’s appointment, the loss to the Gills in the new boss’s first match hadn’t appeared to be in the script, particularly with the team unbeaten in five and having won the last three.
“We’re disappointed for ourselves, we’re disappointed for him,” the 35-year-old said. “As a team, we’re all together, so we’re very, very disappointed today.
“We’ve been on a great run and we coming into it we were full of belief and we’ve caught by their way of playing. I think they’ve done a job on us today.
“They’ve scored two great goals but once we’ve got back into the game, we’ve got to secure at least a point minimum, and we haven’t done that.”
Gillingham’s up-and-at-‘em direct, physical approach isn’t something the Blues will face every week, but Chambers says Town knew what Steve Evans’s side would be about.
“You know what you’re coming up against,” he added. “They’ll fight for everything, they’ll chuck balls in the box from every single angle, from anywhere on the pitch. They’ve got big boys in the team.
“I think we’ve handled that well, I think they scored early which for the second away game running gives us a mountain to climb, but we’ve responded well, staying in the game, defending what we had to defend, but the way we’ve conceded the second and third goals today is unacceptable.
“We gave the ball away sloppily and contributed to our own problems. We haven’t particularly got done by Gillingham’s way, the boys have sort of dealt with most of their threats. The way we conceded the goals was very disappointing.
“But you can nullify that, you can get rid of that so nothing that’s too much to worry about, but very, very disappointing, obviously.”
Chambers felt Town would go on to win following his header which made the scoreline 1-1.
“Yes, and you looked at their team and you looked them in the eyes and you though ‘yes, this our game for the taking’,” he reflected. “But you can’t do what we did and expect to win a game. That is the annoying thing.”
Regarding his goal, a looping header from Josh Harrop’s free-kick, he added: “Always nice to score a goal, but at the end of the say we’ve been beaten 3-1 and it means nothing.’
Looking back on a whirlwind week at Portman Road, he said: “We’ve got a fantastic proven manager that’s come into the football club that we’re all going to all fight together for and that will be no different.
“We’ve got a tremendously strong group of players in there that are as honest as the day is long. Never, ever stop working for each other and for the football club.
“Obviously we’ll come up short sometimes, we’ve had a fantastic week and one disappointing result doesn’t put us on a different path than we need to be.”
Asked about his early impressions of new boss Cook, he said: “Very positive, he knows what he wants. If you don’t give it to him, you won’t play. That’s football.
“Everyone knows what’s required from them, there are no grey areas and we’ll be looking to implement that as quickly as possible.
“It’s a difficult situation for him because we’ve got games every few days and it’s very difficult to get on the training ground to really go through ideas.
“But, like I say, over the last week or so, we’ve given ourselves such a fantastic opportunity to really get ourselves back in the mix.
“Today’s a disappointment but we’ve got a game Tuesday against another good team [Lincoln at Portman Road] and we will go in full of confidence again.”
Chambers says the run prior to Cook’s appointment has given the Blues a real chance of being in the running for promotion.
“That’s why it’s probably even more disappointing today,” he said. “It’s always disappointing to lose a game but the way we handled the setback of the first goal, to then to continue to deal with their threat, and slowly find our way back in the game, and get an equaliser, that’s the disappointing thing.
“With 20 minutes left you’re thinking there’s only going to be one winner here and the way we’ve conceded the second goal and then the third, which was a great finish from their perspective, but we can stop them. And I don’t think that will happen again, so we move on.”
Was the managerial change needed? “It’s not really my place to say. Like I say, the group as a bunch of professional footballers have been absolutely impeccable in their professionalism and their approach and their effort for the football club.
“May have been lacking in quality at times but I am proud to be the captain of the group of players in there and, like I say, we’ll move forward together and we’ll crack on and see what [the future] brings.”
Town have 15 games to go, virtually a third of the season, and Chambers believes there’s a real opportunity of being in the shake-up come May.
“We’ve got a great chance and teams will see our run of form recently,” he insisted. “But you can only say so many things in the press, clichés, but there’s another game Tuesday and we’ve got to go and win it.”
Chambers says he’s proud to have entered the Blues’ top 10 all-time appearance-makers having taken his total to 386 yesterday.
“Fantastic, I never envisaged that coming in when I was 26 years old,” he said. “To have had the trust of all the managers that I’ve played for, to continually be selected for the team, it speaks well of my professionalism and my approach to the football club and games.
“Because I don’t just play because I’m the captain, I feel I’ve played because I add value to the team and as long as I’m doing that, I think you’ve realised the manager will be pretty honest, and if I’m not doing what I need to be doing, I won’t play.
“That should always be the way at a football club. If you don’t do your job properly, you shouldn’t be near the team. But ultimately you always trust the manager’s decision and we go with it.”
Cook was very vocal from the stands at Accrington, which Chambers says was illustrative of the new manager.
“That’s his personality and that’s infectious and you want that,” he said. “You want to feel the trust from the sidelines and he gives you that.
“He’ll make it perfectly clear what he wants from you and if you don’t deliver it, you won’t play. That is football, it couldn’t be any more simple than that.”
Cook has been joined at Town by Gary Roberts and Chambers recalled a run-in with the now-former winger on the opening day of the League One season.
“We had a few cross words he came in because last time we played them first game of the season he gave me a little rabbit punch to the back of the head, so he was laughing about that,” he laughed.
“Fantastic addition to the club, they’ve had success wherever they’ve been. Today it’s very, very disappointing to get off to the start we’ve got off to but we need to focus on what we’ve done in the last week or so and keep moving forward.”
Regarding first-team coach Matt Gill and goalkeeper-coach Jimmy Walker staying at the club, he added: “They’re very, very good at their jobs and fantastic to have at the football club, so I’m delighted they’re still here.”
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