‘We’ve gone from being hard to beat to easy to beat today’ - listen to Chambers’ raw, honest interview after Hull loss
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Ipswich Town captain Luke Chambers spoke to the media immediately after his side’s defeat by Hull yesterday afternoon.
The Blues skipper was clearly hurting from a tough loss, in which he admitted neither he or his side had played well, but stressed the scoreline ultimately didn’t tell the entire story of the game.
Chambers addressed the club’s winless start, frustrations at not being able to convert training ground work into performances and whether the Blues have changed too much too soon.
You can read the full transcript of his interview below.
Luke this was a really difficult one for you to take this afternoon on so many levels.
LC: “It’s been a long couple of weeks since the Norwich game and we’ve put a performance in there that we were going to build on.
“The frustration is we’ve had two really good weeks of training and put a lot of hard work in, the spirit’s been really positive and the warm-up was tremendous. All that hard work and positive training sessions just seems to go out of the window. Game kicks off and we are 1-0 down after three minutes.
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“We all talk about ‘starting the game like this, swinging it in behind and making them turn early on’ but the first time we had the ball we have it out wide, play it back inside and we get caught on the ball.
“It’s very difficult to point a finger at young players like Flynn Downes because, for me, he’s one of the best midfielders at the club and he deserves his opportunity. But the decision to play him the ball in that position is very, very strange given the way we talk. Everyone seems to talk a good game and everyone seems to be right up for it throughout the week with players performing tremendously well in training – but at the end of the day you are a footballer judged on a matchday.
“I’m not sitting here pointing fingers because today I haven’t particularly played very well, I don’t think anyone can say they’ve played particularly well today, but you have to have the bit between your teeth and really try and influence the game. Whether that’s with your personality, running in behind, making tackles, winning headers or getting on the ball, I just don’t think that’s translating from the training ground to the pitch. For whatever reason that is, sitting here right now, it’s very difficult to stay calm and give you a truly honest opinion because that’s very difficult after a game when you’ve been beaten 2-0.
“We’ve conceded in the third minute and the 93rd minute, which makes it look like we were battered 2-0. I don’t think we were – they’ve had opportunities while we’ve been chasing the game and that’s football – but when you make a mistake teams in this division punish you. We’ve made a mistake – 1-0 down. We’ve made a mistake 93rd minute – 2-0 down.
“We’re not capitalising on mistakes and we’re probably not playing in a way that is causing the opposition to make mistakes. For me there’s a lot to work on still but it’s about translating those performances and bubbliness from the environment we’ve created in training into matches and, right now, we’re not doing that.”
It’s not down to ability from what you’re saying so it’s down to footballing intelligence or attitude?
LC: “Yes, possibly. We don’t know where we’re at at the moment. We’ve had a helluva lot of change so to judge people’s ability, this that and the other, I’m not seeing that.
“It’s such a difficult thing to talk about.”
Too much change?
LC: “It’s very difficult to implement as much change as we’ve had. I feel like we’ve set out day one to have a really, really tough pre-season and then the manager’s hands have been tied a little bit by bringing in players who have found themselves in the team having not done the pre-season we’ve set out to do.
“It’s always difficult and we’re still trying to work to that, but I’m not seeing the translation of our pre-season into our performances at the moment. We’ve worked very, very hard to get ourselves to a fitness level but we don’t seem to be portraying that on the pitch. We don’t seem to be causing enough problems.
“Look at Fraizer Campbell today. He’s absolutely run his socks off and got a standing ovation – not because he’s done anything in the game but because he’s run around, blocked balls forward and put his body in the way. We don’t seem to be having that half a yard where we are getting people’s heads down to stop them from having time on the ball.
“That’s my frustration at the moment – not because we can’t do it but is it because maybe lads are a little leggy? I just don’t have the answers right now, it’s so frustrating because we’ve gone from a very, very difficult team to play against but today I think we were very easy to play against.”
How worrying is it?
LC: “I’m very worried at the moment but I’m going to be very worried after a game where we’ve just been beaten 2-0 away from home in Hull, who have not won at home this season.
“We need to start translating the performances from training into games and start believing in ourselves a little more. That’s my job as captain, to try and keep everyone going, and the manager will be doing the same.
“It’s not about sitting here and feeling all doom and gloom but we have to stand up and be counted because we have a team coming to Portman Road on Tuesday (Brentford) and we have to be standing up and showing people what we can do. We did that against Norwich and I’m hoping everyone who comes to see us at Portman Road on Tuesday night will be right behind us once again because they have been absolutely fantastic.
“I wouldn’t like to be sat there as an Ipswich supporter today because we have done nothing for them to send them home with any positives whatsoever today. I’m very frustrated that they have travelled up all this way to support us the way they have from minute one this season. We’ve sent them home like that and we need to look at ourselves in the mirror as players and really ask ourselves questions whether we are really, really having a right go.
“I don’t think that performance showed that today.”
You clearly feel you can pull away from it with a lot of the season to go but I guess too many performances like that and you could really be in the mire?
LC: “We can’t get away from the fact we haven’t won a game yet this season, seven games in. We have to do something to stop what’s happening at the moment.
“The game’s coming Tuesday and we’ll be doing all we can over the next few days to put ourselves in the positive frame of mind that we will have in five or six hours time. Right now it’s very difficult to choose the right words without sounding like an idiot because I’m coming out here and speaking to the press – nobody wants to hear from me today. Nobody wants to hear from any of our players I would imagine so all I can do is apologise to everyone who has travelled up and shown the support they have.
“All I can ask is for them to stick with us because we need them on Tuesday night.”
Is everyone in there hurting as much as you are, do you think?
LC: “I will never question how a player feels after a match. I’m not saying or seeing any of our players are going out there and not trying. Everyone will be hurting and the bus on the way home will be a morgue. It’s easy to talk after a game and say we should have done this or should have done that, so you take it on the chin. You have a few hours where you reflect on whether you are doing enough, me included, to really give ourselves the best opportunity to win a game of football.
How hard is it to put games like this behind you, though?
LC: “This will be gone by the time I get home tonight. What can you do about it? It’s gone. You have to move on. That’s the thing with this division, you can have an absolute nightmare but you have to move on. We didn’t have a nightmare, though, because we’ve conceded early and then in the 93rd minute and it makes it look so much different than the actual game.
“But you have to put it behind you because everyone who had an opportunity today will either get one again on Tuesday or they won’t. The gaffer will have decisions to make and will probably make changes to the team. We’ve seen nobody’s position is safe, so we’ll see on Monday morning.
“We’ll be working until Tuesday’s game and if anyone comes in on Monday morning or on Sunday sulking, then you won’t play to the best of your ability.
“Everyone needs to be as comfortable as possible. When things aren’t going well there won’t be many people really going through the barrier to try and get themselves into the team. It’s easy to play in a team when you’re doing well but it’s a real test of people’s character, ability and professionalism when things aren’t going well.
“We need to see that.”