Chambers: We Have to Believe
Saturday, 3rd Apr 2021 10:40
Skipper Luke Chambers says the players have to believe that they are capable of securing a play-off place in the remaining nine games of the season having beaten Bristol Rovers 2-1 at Portman Road yesterday, and is hopeful right-back Kane Vincent-Young will be able to return to play a part soon.
The victory over the Gas saw the Blues move up to ninth in the table, two points behind Blackpool in sixth, although with the Seasiders having played a game fewer.
“Every game’s going to be important now, we have to take what we can. We started the game brilliantly, albeit then tried to give them something,” Chambers said.
“We’re delighted, it was a very important win that we got and we’re going to play teams in and around that same area in the league and they’re not going to be easy, they’re not going to lie down.
“We all want to go out there and play fantastically well, play free-flowing, passing football and dominate possession, but sometimes it’s not possible and we showed that we have to find a way to win a game, and we have nine more to go.”
Chambers said there was no finger-pointing in the dressing room regarding Andre Dozzell’s error which led to the Pirates pulling their goal back.
“Doz has been fantastic for us, he’s played every game pretty much this season and he’s been allowed to try and get on the ball as much as he can to influence games,” the 35-year-old said.
“Those things are going to happen, no one will be pointing fingers at Andre because he didn’t shy away from the game after that, he still tried to get us playing.
“He’s been very competitive in there for us, so it’s one of those, ‘don’t worry about that Doz, we move on’, we stick together and we won the game together.
Manager Paul Cook said last week that he believed that Town could make the top six but questioned whether the players felt the same. Chambers says they have to if they’re to make it.
“We have to believe,” he said. “I believe. I believe in the squad, you can’t start the seasons as we have for the last two years and then all of a sudden be crap. It just can’t happen.
“It’s a psychological thing which has maybe built up over a period of time that we have to get rid of quickly.
“And I think the gaffer’s trying to knock that down for us as players and, yes, I believe totally. I believe in all those players, I always have done.
“I’ll back them to the hilt and we just have to handle the pressure and handle having the expectation and just keep our heads down and try and take each game as it comes because it’s a nine-game season now.”
The former Nottingham Forest and Northampton man says the mental side of any sport is very important.
“For me, in football today, that is something which isn’t focused on enough, on and off the pitch,” he said.
“It’s been a tricky year for everyone with not playing in front of fans, approaching games properly and training and protocols and this, that and the other.
“It’s not easy, it’s not been easy for anyone, so the lads have to talk to each other and talk about how they’re feeling and talk about where they’re struggling in their games, in training and stuff like that because at the end of the day all we’ve got is each other.
“And I think we showed against Bristol Rovers, we’ve always stuck together, but we ground that result out and we’re delighted to come away with the three points.”
Asked whether young players have to grow up quickly in the current situation, Chambers countered: “Yes, but we can’t go on about young players all the time, everyone’s got to take responsibility. We’re a football club that wants to move forward, the owner has made it clear what he wants from the new gaffer and we’re right behind that.
“We haven’t had the greatest start that we want to have had, but we all want to be a part of what he’s trying to bring to the football club.
“He brings enthusiasm, he brings energy, he brings positivity and we all want to be a part of that moving forward and it’s an opportunity for the lads, nine games to go, lots of people out of contract, there’ll be change at the football club, but if you want to be a part of Paul Cook’s Ipswich moving forward then it’s a massive opportunity for everyone.”
Chambers says he’s enjoying being back at centre-half having played most of this season at right-back.
“Yes, enjoyed it today,” he continued. “My left quad’s a bit tight from showing them down the line a little bit, but I’m just enjoying playing, however long that may continue and, like I say, the last year for everyone in the world and in football, you just try and take your opportunity and enjoy life as much as you possibly can.”
One man missing yesterday was Vincent-Young, who was withdrawn at half-time during last week’s 0-0 draw at Wigan, his first start in 17 months, with a hamstring injury. However, the captain says the right-back won’t be out for too long.
“I don’t think it’s too bad,” he said. “It’s always going to be the way. When you’re playing week in, week out you manage to stay injury free because you’re always putting your body through the same things.
“When you’ve been out for such a long time and are thrust back in because we need results, because we want to be successful this season, you want to throw Kane Vincent-Young in.
“If there’s any aspect of the game where you need someone like that, it’s now and it’s unfortunate that he’s felt something but I think he made the right decision at Wigan, he came off at half-time and he shouldn’t be out for too long, so if we can have him back in now for the run-in along with a few of the other boys, then it makes us stronger.”
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