Leeds game is massive but Ipswich Town are full of confidence ahead of Elland Road clash
FOUR games ago, Luke Chambers found himself dumped to the bench after becoming a “casualty” of Ipswich Town’s embarrassing 6-0 loss at Leicester.
Just three weeks on, things couldn’t be more different for the former Nottingham Forest man.
After being dropped for the home draw against Peterborough, Chambers was restored to the side in the very next game – ironically against Forest – and has not looked back since.
Describing his axing as the “kick up the backside he needed”, Chambers has thrived in the last three matches alongside Tommy Smith with Town gaining maximum points.
Summing up the change in fortune under Mick McCarthy, Chambers said: “It has been a difficult few months results-wise, so to win the last three in the row has been fantastic.
“Since the gaffer took over, it has given everyone a little bit of a lift and that is sometimes needed. It was obviously unfortunate how the season started, but the lads are riding a crest of a wave at the minute – and long may it continue.
“I think in games, the boys are not so frightened to play. We have a different mentality now and less of a fear factor.
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“There have been some tremendous performances since the gaffer came in and the boys, both individually and collectively, are playing the way we all knew we could. The results have echoed that.”
Confidence, that vital ingredient that seems to have dominated Ipswich Town interviews this season, was again aired as the main reason behind the side slumping to the bottom of the Championship – before playing their way out of trouble.
Chambers admitted: “Confidence is such a big thing. If you are losing games, it is always going to creep into the back of your mind, especially for the lads who have not been in this situation before.
“But no mistake about it, we are not clear yet. We are going to keep focusing and keep approaching games the way we have been doing.”
Pleased with his own recent performances, Chambers is only too aware of the importance of the festive period with Ipswich facing a gruelling five games in 16 days.
He said: “It is a massive time. I will see more of the lads than I will my family over Christmas!
“Thankfully, we will go into it in high spirits. All we are doing is focusing on every game, ticking that one off and trying to get a positive result. You can’t look too far ahead.
“I was very disappointed not to play against Peterborough but I think when you lose 6-0 (against Leicester), there is always going to be casualties.
“The gaffer wanted to look at a few things, he sat me down to talk about it, but that is part of football.
“In the majority of my career, I have been playing games week-in, week-out – maybe that was the kick up the backside I needed. I feel since I have been back in the team, I have played well with Tommy.”