'He's a big voice in the dressing room - we need that experience' - Hurst on Chambers
PUBLISHED: 11:16 09 October 2018 | UPDATED: 11:16 09 October 2018
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Ipswich Town boss Paul Hurst has praised the off-field role skipper Luke Chambers is playing in helping a new-look squad bed in.
The was a major overhaul of personnel, both in terms of players and staff, at Portman Road this summer – experienced men leaving and many of the new arrivals working at Championship level for the first time.
Senior players were told in no uncertain terms that their previous achievements in the game counted for nothing by the new manager and that they must earn their places.
And while keeper Bartosz Bialkowski has been dropped to the bench, the likes of Chambers, Cole Skuse and Jonas Knudsen have played the majority of games. Chambers, in particular, seems to have risen to the challenge.
“Their experience has been important,” said Hurst, who finally got his first win in charge, at the 13th attempt, at Swansea on Saturday (3-2).
“Luke’s obviously the captain and a big voice in the dressing room. We need that experience.
“I’ve spoken about change and I think people felt it was needed. I wanted to put my own stamp on the squad and try and change things, but at the same time those new lads need some help and guidance.”
Hurst signed 12 new players in his first transfer window, but eight of the 14 players who were involved at the Liberty Stadium were ones he inherited following Andre Dozzell’s recovery from long-term injury and Freddie Sears’ return to the fold.
On Chambers, who recently turned 33 and is now closing in on 300 appearances for the club, Hurst added: “He’s been here some time now and that’s invaluable.
“When new players come through the door, he’s always on the scene to show people where things are, explain how things work and speak about the area.
“Sometimes it’s nice to get that from staff, and we obviously try to help, but when one of your team-mates is doing that as well, I think that always helps bed players in that little bit sooner.”
New boy Gwion Edwards recently said: “Chambo’s a great lad. He’s potentially the best captain I’ve ever had to be honest. Every day he comes in, he’s positive and gets the lads going.
“If he sees someone who is a bit down or frustrated he is always there to pick them up.”