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Smith and Chambers have room for improvement

PUBLISHED: 18:08 22 January 2013 | UPDATED: 18:08 22 January 2013

Luke Chambers, left, and Tommy Smith

Luke Chambers, left, and Tommy Smith

LUKE Chambers and Tommy Smith will scrutinise Saturday’s below-par performance at home to Barnsley, ahead of Saturday’s trip to bottom club, Bristol City.

The duo endured a tough time against the Tykes’ Marlon Harewood and Chris Dagnall as the visitors left Suffolk with a vital Championship point.

Chambers and Smith have forged a decent understanding this season, following a rocky start that included the 6-0 defeat at Blackpool, and have conceded just over one goal a game as a starting partnership – 29 goals in 20 games.

However, their cause could be boosted this weekend with Robins’ dangerman Albert Adomah representing Ghana at the Africa Cup of Nations and former Town target, Sam Baldock, struggling with a hamstring strain.

Adomah is City’s stand-out player, having scored five and created eight of City’s 42 goals this season. Baldock, meanwhile, has scored nine and earned two assists.

Despite that, Chambers and Smith will be all too aware what can happen if they are not on top of their game.

“Tommy and myself have done very well recently and stopped most teams from playing, so Saturday was a little bit disappointing,” said Chambers.

“Marlon Harewood played very well and gave Barnsley an outlet. We gave him a little bit too much space to control their attacks.

“To be successful in this division, you have got to out-work or at least match your opponent for effort and then hope to have that bit of quality in attack.

“We have got to look forward now to Bristol City and we have time to look at what we did against Barnsley, and improve.”

Chambers has been a virtual ever-present this season for the Blues, missing just two games.

As for Smith, the New Zealand international came out of the team for a period, following the 2-1 home defeat at home to Charlton earlier in the season.

“Tommy returned under a new manager (Mick McCarthy) who had different ideas,” said Chambers.

“We are now a lot stronger as a team and it is not just the back four that defends, every player is expected to defend from the front and that makes our jobs easier.”

Meanwhile, Chambers has backed striking duo Aaron Mclean and David McGoldrick to be hits at Portman Road, despite the fact the duo have yet to open their accounts for their new team.

“The boys have worked their socks off in the last two games and they have not had much to work off in terms of our delivery,” admitted the former Nottingham Forest defender.

“They are working off scraps and will take time to gel but we are delighted to have them here and we now also have a hell of a lot of options on the bench.”

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