Chambers on negativity, facing criticism, beating promotion rivals and Town's promotion credentials
- Credit: Archant
Captain Luke Chambers is hurt by the position Ipswich Town currently find themselves in but is convinced his side can still be serious promotion challengers this season.
The Blues sit fifth heading into what is now a blank weekend, following the postponement of the scheduled clash with Peterborough due to a positive coronavirus test in the Posh camp.
But serious struggles in games against promotion rivals and last season’s 11th-place finish, coming at the end of a decade lacking any real form of success, have helped bring a feeling of discontent over the club’s fanbase at a time when supporters have not been able to watch their side play live due to the coronavirus pandemic.
And while Chambers understands why there is an air of negativity over the club, the skipper believes his side are in a good position, considering their significant injury problems, and believes the foundations are there for a successful season.
“I think supporters are well within their rights to be disappointed with some of our performances maybe but we are where we are (fifth, level on points with second) with all the injuries we’ve had,” he said.
“I still think we’re in a pretty good position given all the things we’ve had to deal with. This (in League One) is a position nobody at the football club wants to be in so I can understand the pent-up frustration because we all want to be winning games week in, week out and beating every team in the league and being top.
“Sometimes football doesn’t work as easily as that.
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“I know it isn’t all about this season and that it’s a build-up of things from over the years. I know that given I’ve been here for a long part of that.
“It’s difficult. You can’t say too much about it and as players and as a squad we just have to keep trying to produce the goods when it matters. We haven’t done that against the big teams in the league as we’d like to but we still find ourselves joint second somehow.”
Asked how criticism sits with him, given he’s now in his ninth season at the club, the captain said: “It hurts because people will mention my name alongside a difficult period for the club now so it doesn’t sit great with me, but I feel I’m just a number in the organisation. You can position some blame towards me as captain but I’m big enough to stand up and take all of that on the chin.
“I’ve had criticism in the past but that’s football in general and I don’t think anyone’s immune to that. All I can do and all I ever have done is try to be the best player and person I can be for this club and try to take them forward in a positive manner.
“It doesn’t sit great with me but we still sit in a good position in the league and we’re still in a position to go and do something in the league and achieve something great this year.
“Promotion is the aim and we have to keep going and keep trying to grind out results. I think we did that in a different way on Tuesday (against Burton). I know you can look at the table and think we should maybe be slapping teams like that but we all know well enough now that football doesn’t work like that and hasn’t for a long time.
“I said to the boys after the game that, regardless of who you beat, you have to try and avoid those moments because there aren’t too many positives around at the minute apart from within our bubble in the dressing room.”
Discussing Town’s poor record against promotion contenders, which has seen the Blues fail to score in home losses to Charlton, Hull and Portsmouth in recent weeks, Chambers said: “It’s not what we want it to be at all but we find ourselves joint second in the league.
“We’re obviously in fifth on goal difference so the table says we need to score more goals and keep more out. There are so many cliches I can say but it’s pretty obvious what we need to do – we need to beat someone in and around that top six.
“That might stop people talking about it for a bit.
“I feel at times we’ve maybe tried to go all-out at the start of games and maybe not have the solid base we’ve had as a team, maybe being a bit naïve at times.”