‘Get the balance right and it will be a good formula for winning’ - Chambers on youth, Hurst’s signings, new faces and experience
- Credit: Archant
Ipswich Town captain Luke Chambers believes the club has the makings of a good squad next season as young players progress and last summer’s signings fully find their feet at Portman Road.
The Blues rebuild in League One is set to centre around the exciting crop of players coming through the club’s academy, while the likes of Jon Nolan, Gwion Edwards, Kayden Jackson and Ellis Harrison, signed by former boss Paul Hurst last summer, figure to play a big part in the third tier.
Chambers has been clear in his belief that too much was changed at Portman Road last summer, with more than a dozen players departing and a further 12 arriving, but has been impressed with the way the newcomers have progressed during what has been a difficult season.
“Look at the way Kayden (Jackson) has changed games for us when he’s come on over the last few weeks,” Chambers said, when asked if Hurst’s signings had improved during the course of the campaign.
“I think he will be disappointed not to have played more. Jon Nolan’s another one, Toto (Nsiala) as well, while we’ve not seen as much of Ellis (Harrison) as we’d have liked.
“You can bed one or two in but when you’re changing eight out of your 11, getting them all up to speed that early has obviously not worked.
“We still have games to play this season but we are already planning for next season.
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“The manager will have his opinions on players and he will want to see how they do in the first team. There aren’t always that many opportunities to have a look at them and give them free hits.”
Asked if he thinks the club’s young players are ready to shoulder the responsibility placed on them, Chambers said: “I think they are.
“A lot of them have played quite a lot of games now but it’s about getting the balance right.
“For all the positivity about having young players in the team, I think there was a bit of a wake-up call when we played Brentford the other night with a lot of young players in the team. That’s not putting the blame on them at all, in any way, but you do have to get the balance right.
“They’ve been in our dressing room and thrust into it and it’s sink or swim at the end of the day.
“When I look back to when I was a young player, you’re in there and nobody has any time to bed you in. If you have a set-back, you have to bounce back and that’s what they will have learnt.
“It will drive them on. They will want to be playing games next season regardless of their age.
“If you’re good enough, you’re old enough.
“If we get the balance of new players, young players, some experience and lads who have played in the division, then it will be a good formula for us to be winning games.”