‘We need to start turning up... me included’ - Chambers on Lincoln loss, changing Ipswich’s approach and finally playing with a settled side
Captain Luke Chambers spoke to the media following Ipswich Town’s 5-3 defeat at Lincoln City.
Luke, that must have been a painful one for Ipswich Town?
LC: It was. We saw things happening that shouldn't really be happening on a football pitch and to concede five goals is not acceptable, especially given the way we've defended as a team this season and pride ourselves on having a decent record of defensive clean sheets.
But things happened far too easily and we spoke for a long time after the game to try and find the answers in the dressing.
It's not just people sitting there, nodding their heads with their heads down but actually standing up and giving an opinion to try and stop these happening.
What things were happening that shouldn't have been?
LC: Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong.
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We weren't keeping the ball, weren't challenging centre-halves and not winning battlers in defensive areas. We were wide open and they were getting through us like a knife through butter.
There's nothing I can say that can make anyone feel any better.
What was it down to do you think?
LC: I'm not sure. Maybe we were so desperate to get ourselves back on the winning track that we've left ourselves open whereas, at the start of the season, we had that little air of caution where we were keeping it solid, keeping it solid then bang, 1-0.
The game was in our hands then whereas maybe now we're trying to force the issue and taking quick throw ins or trying to start attacks quickly from the goalkeeper. That stretches us as a team.
We try to settle down but we keep doing the same things that were leaving us vulnerable.
Teams in this division are set up to defend, especially against us. We can say we had good possession and played some nice football but that meant nothing because we got beaten. Winning football is what's required in this division and we didn't play that in this game.
So it's almost about going back to basics?
LC: Almost, yeah. There's nothing I can say that's going to make anyone feel better but I can only apologise to all the travelling fans because they have been with us from day one. That's a given and they are absolutely fantastic.
We need to start turning up, me included. We've had a discussion about it and said that if things don't change for us there will be even more choice words so we need to rectify some of the things and put ourselves in position to win games of football.
Would going back to that approach need a little patience from the fans do you think?
LC: The fans can see that we're trying but we're maybe a little naïve.
If the ball goes out and you're in the opposition half then bang, by all means get the ball in from a throw-in but if you're away from home then maybe just settle it down.
You have to balance out risk versus reward sometimes.
That's not me being negative, it's maybe trying to put yourself in the best position possible to win the game.
It sounds like there was an open forum for discussion in the dressing room, not just the manager or you having your say?
LC: Yeah, but how can I come and comment when we've conceded five goals. You have to take responsibility for your own patch and we haven't been good enough.
I said 'if I'm saying stuff which is our of order or you disagree with then speak up' because we're all here for the benefit of Ipswich Town and all want to succeed as much as anyone.
If there are things happening that people need to get off their chests, whether people like it or not, then it has to be said because once you cross the white line together you need to feel like everyone's on the same page.
That needs to happen in the dressing room so when you do have these discussions everyone needs to at least acknowledge it or have something to say.
Did people speak up? Are there enough characters and leaders in the group?
LC: There are characters and there are leaders but it's easy to say. I don't want to be sat here talking because people will be pointing fingers at me after this game because for whatever reason we haven't done our jobs.
I was saying before the game we have to nail down certain scenarios and we didn't do that today.
It sounds like the air was cleared a little bit?
LC: You have to. We can't have people leaving the dressing room, sniggering or chatting nonsense on the bus.
Take responsibility. I've come out and done this interview with you guys and taken responsibility for myself but we have another game.
There won't be many of us sleeping properly after that.
How worrying is this run? It's more than a blip, isn't it?
LC: Yeah, of course it needs to be sorted. That's why we're having chats and why we need to find a way to change things.
We can talk about the first 15 games all we like but that's a million miles away from where we are now.
Is it a worry, the situation you have got yourselves into?
LC: No, I don't think it's a worry and it can easily be rectified.
We need to put ourselves in a good position to win games and if we are going to kick it long, put it into one side and do the basics of football.
We're letting it get on top of us a little by being wide open and allowing teams to create chances out of nothing. We need to defend in numbers in certain positions on the pitch and I'm sure we'll do that come Wednesday.
Do you believe you should be up there this season?
LC: Why not? We're fourth in the league but the last 10 games tell a different story, although we're still in a really good position despite being on a bad run.
Whoever played and contributed to those first 15 games need to really stand up and the boys around the squad as well need to stand up and be counted.
Those are clichés I don't really want to use but what more can I say?
Time for a settled side? Would that help?
LC: Yeah, absolutely. Go again, go again, go again and see where it takes us.
We're not going to worry about anyone else from this day forward. We're going to worry about Ipswich Town and see where it takes us.
Were the boys unsettled at all by the manager's comments, when he cast doubt over his future?
LC: (Laughs) You guys will make of that what you will,
We're all in there, pulling in the same direction and are looking to put this bad run behind us.
Are the young boys in that dressing room growing up quickly through all of this?
LC: They are and they need to.
We'll be in tomorrow (Monday) and maybe we'll talk it through and maybe we'll watch videos and see how things have happened, how we've lost the ball, been beaten in the air, not held it up or not stopped a cross.
If you can't take that as a professional footballer then you're in the wrong profession.
In short this is an experience to learn from, isn't it?
Is this something that can turn round in one game, with one result?
LC: Yes, without a shadow of a doubt.
The small details are easily rectified and we need to have a lot more control on the pitch.
We didn't celebrate a goal in this game. Who are we, Man City playing in an FA Cup game against a League Two team? No, we're not, we're Ipswich Town in League One playing Lincoln, are 1-0 down and have scored a free-kick. Go and celebrate.
The worst feeling as a professional footballer is watching the other team celebrate when you feel like you are in a good position.
That's winning football.
The second goal to equalise, celebrate! I said it to the boys that we've wasted an opportunity and just ran back to the halfway line as if we're Man City playing against a League Two side.
We're here for a reason and we need to enjoy these moments with your thousands of fans who have travelled to watch you.
Luke Garbutt's been an absolute revelation for us and the best thing we can do is try and get him in for the foreseeable future.
He needs a home and I think he's found one but every time he stands over a free-kick I think it's an opportunity for us. Go and enjoy it, mate. Yes we want to get back in it but there's so much time left.
All I can do is be brutally honest because that's what I've always done.
Those 1-0 wins from earlier in the season would be handy now, wouldn't they.
LC: Of course because we can't get ahead of ourselves and think that we battered everyone, because we didn't.
We won 1-0 most weeks and ground it out. We went 1-0 up which opened the game up and allowed us to have more chances.
But let's not kid ourselves, we didn't batter anyone and we can't be thinking we should be up there with a divine right.
We need to work hard every single day in training.
Wednesday at Wycombe could be an ideal came, couldn't it? Beating the league-leaders on their own patch to kick-start your season…
LC: We're having conversations about kick-starting seasons when we're fourth.
I won't say we would have taken this (at the start) but we do need to draw a line under this and have a 22-game season now which we're looking forward to.
Are there any extra-nerves? For me that came in the first 15 games because we needed to get off to a good start whereas now we potentially, some of us, maybe took our feet off the gas. These are not questions I have the answers too and all I can do as captain is take responsibility.
We have another game, we're in a good position and need to break this bad run.
What better way to do it than on the TV against the league leaders.