Back the Blues: Ipswich Town skipper Luke Chambers insists players crave promotion just as much as the fans
- Credit: Archant
Ipswich Town skipper Luke Chambers has promised the club’s long-suffering supporters that players crave promotion every bit as much as they do.
Four points from their remaining two matches – at home against Nottingham Forest on Saturday, followed by a trip to Blackburn – would guarantee the Blues their first Championship play-off place in a decade and thus provide a golden shot at promotion back to the Premier League following a 13-year absence.
“In the huddle I’ve been saying, for the last six or seven weeks now, that these are the games that you want to be involved in as a player – just enjoy it,” said Chambers.
“Some players have a lot of seasons like this in their careers, but most only get it once or twice if they’re lucky.
“We all live in the town and we’re well aware of what it means to the supporters after what they’ve had to put up with over the last few years.
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“It means just as much to us. Being a Premier League player is something I’ve dreamed about for a long time. I’m getting on a bit now, I’m nearly 30, and if it’s going to happen it will be with Ipswich. I don’t think a day goes past where I don’t have a little think about what it would be like. I can’t even put it into words what it would mean.”
On the role supporters could play on Saturday, Chambers said: “Expectations rose after our good start to the season and when we weren’t winning at times a little bit of frustration came through.
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“But, over the last few weeks, I think the fans have realised how much of a help they can be at home.
“Away from home they’ve been fantastic all season. There were always going to be a couple of nervy games at home last week, but the fans stuck with us and the more we can get into Portman Road and buying into that positive attitude, the better for us.
“As an away player, if you feel the home team and crowd is getting momentum, everything feels as though it’s getting on top of you. That’s not a great place to be. We need to make Forest feel like that.
“Our fans have been great and if they can raise that a notch on Saturday it will undoubtedly help.
“You’d like to think the Forest boys will be coming down here with one eye on their holidays, nothing to play for, but that carefree approach could equally make them dangerous.
“It might take us until the 90th minute and we’ll need the fans to stick with us and give us every bit of help they can.”
Chambers continued: “Saturday’s result (1-1 draw at Wolves) was big, but there’s still work to do. We can’t rest. The way I look at is just win our two games and we’re in the play-offs with momentum. No-one would want to play us.
“As the gaffer always tells us though, there is always a slap on the backside waiting for you in this game.
“Nottingham Forest and Blackburn are both good sides. They’re not going to be easy games. On paper we’ve probably got the hardest run-in, but we’re fully confident.
“We’re not the best footballing team in the league, but we stop other teams from playing, can play football at times, we’ve scored some good goals and, if we are working harder and are more aggressive and better at winning the ball back then we’re a team that not many will want to play against.”
He added: “All the boys live in the town. That’s a big difference from when I first came to the club. Hardly any of the boys lived here then and everyone is now.
“It’s such a nice place to be when you’re winning games and when the weather’s nice like it is now. Everyone comes up to you and wishes you well, whereas in the past it’s been ‘what are you doing?’
“We do not want to be walking around that pitch at the end applauding people if we’ve got beat on Saturday. I want to be giving it large.”