'It's a better place to be and there's a lot more ability' - Chambers on 2012 comparisons
PUBLISHED: 12:36 02 November 2018 | UPDATED: 12:47 02 November 2018
Luke Chambers has been here before.
And the Ipswich Town skipper believes the current Blues squad is stronger than the one which successfully battled relegation under Mick McCarthy following his arrival in November 2012.
Ipswich find themselves in an identical position following the arrival of Paul Lambert - bottom of the table and five points from safety - heading into tomorrow’s home clash with Preston North End.
Chambers is the only surviving player from a squad which retained their Championship status under McCarthy, with the defender seeing enough in the current group to believe the same is possible again.
“It’s a similar situation but, in terms of characters in the dressing room, this is a helluva lot better place to play your football and a helluva lot more ability in the club.
“It’s just having belief in the yourself and having belief coming from behind you.
“The manager has made no secret that he will back each and every one of us, although he will obviously tell you if you make a glaring mistake. But you know you will have that support that will come through the dressing room, come through the manager and we’ll all be moving in the same direction.
“Leadership was one of the strengths we had (in 2012) but people like Richie Wellens and Nigel Reo-Coker were here at the start of Mick’s reign but not for too long after he arrived. He brought in Championship players and honest lads like we have here.
“I think the squad we have here now is better than the one we had in 2012 but it’s just about finding that belief and getting back to our basics and being much more prepared.”
The great escape in 2012 began with a dogged 1-0 victory at Birmingham in McCarthy’s first game, with Chambers hoping his side can get things going in a similar fashion this afternoon.
“That would be nice, wouldn’t it? That sparked a good season in the end and we averaged something like two points a game and it was one of those seasons where everyone kept winning and you needed 53 or 54 points to stay up. We might need to have another one of those again.
“The lads are positive and if you come into the place you wouldn’t feel things are as dire as they are. The first few days have given the belief back to the lads.
“We need to be harder to beat,” he continued. “You can play all the nice football in the world but when you concede silly goals from corners, free-kicks and throw-ins from day one, it doesn’t matter how many you score.
“We have to be more compact and do all the things you have to do in the Championship.
“I think the strength of the league was a little underestimated in day one and I think that’s come home to roost a little bit now.
“Everyone wants to be entertained and that’s what we want to do but there will be times where we need to grind out a win.”
Town squad Nov 2012: Henderson, Loach; Chambers, Cresswell, Higginbottom, Smith, Mohsni, Hewitt; Edwards, Reo-Coker, N’Daw, Drury, Martin, Wellens, Emmanuel-Thomas; Campbell, Murphy, Chopra, Scotland.
Current squad: Bialkowski, Gerken; Donacien, Spence, Pennington, Chambers, Nsiala, Knudsen, Kenlock; Skuse, Nolan, Dozzell, Chalobah, Downes, Huws, Bishop, Edun, Edwards, Ward, Graham, Rowe, Lankester, Roberts; Sears, Jackson, Harrison.