Ipswich Town captain Luke Chambers knows his place is not guaranteed this season

Ipswich Town captain Luke Chambers. Picture: PAGEPIX LTD

Ipswich Town captain Luke Chambers. Picture: PAGEPIX LTD

Ipswich Town captain Luke Chambers knows his place in the team is not guaranteed this season.

The 31-year-old played every minute of every Championship game during the 2016/17 campaign, but has had a curtailed pre-season due to a bout of tonsillitis.

Jordan Spence and Dominic Iorfa have been recruited as specialist right-backs this summer, meaning Chambers can finally operate in his favoured central defensive role following years at full-back.

It looks to be a case of three into two, with Chambers competing with the fit-again Adam Webster and Tommy Smith.

“I’ll be looking to play every game, like I did last year, but I can’t take my place for granted,” said the skipper, who came close to re-joining former club Nottingham Forest back in January before finally signing a new two-year deal at Portman Road in May.

“You say it might be three into two, but even Dominic Iorfa can play centre-half. We’ll all be looking to stake our claim.

“At the end of the day I need to be doing my bit on and off the pitch. If I’m not performing at the level that I should be and know I can then I know I could be on the bench.”

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Asked if he is now considered a centre-half by manager Mick McCarthy, Chambers replied: “Let’s hope so, because that’s where I want to play. I’ll be doing everything I can to prove I am a centre-half.

“I think you saw in the last six months of last season, when I went to centre-half it almost gave me a new lease of life. I definitely felt I performed pretty well. I worked my nuts off to secure my future.”

Having had his tonsils removed earlier in the summer, he added: “To be fair I’m a little bit behind at the moment and felt that in the last couple of games, but I’m getting there and know what I need to do in order to be ready for Birmingham a week on Saturday.”

Reflecting on last season’s 16th-place finish, the Blues skipper said: “We deserved criticism – you can’t get away from that. It’s difficult to take, but if you can’t handle that then you shouldn’t be playing.

“Last year will stand us in good stead because we don’t want to experience that negativity that we brought on ourselves.”

Town face Colchester United, at The Weston Homes Community Stadium, tonight (7.30pm) in their latest pre-season friendly.