Cook on Chambers, Skuse and whether Fleetwood clash could be their final Town game
- Credit: Archant
Paul Cook would not be drawn on whether long-serving duo Luke Chambers and Cole Skuse would be making their final Ipswich Town appearances this weekend.
The pair have given a combined 17 seasons of service to the Blues since their arrivals in 2012 and 2013 respectively, making close to 700 appearances for the club between them.
The two 35-year-olds are out of contract in a matter of weeks, though, with Cook previously revealing Chambers could ‘have a different role’ at Portman Road next season should he want it. The Town skipper has been on the bench for the last five games, while Skuse hasn't featured since the 0-0 draw with Wimbledon on April 24.
Cook will sit down with each of his players individually on Monday to discuss their futures, meaning Sunday’s game with Fleetwood may be the last chance for Chambers, Skuse and a string of other players to pull on the blue shirt.
“For Ipswich fans, I’m not so sure the sentiment is there because it’s a very cold industry,” Cook said, when asked if he would pick the experienced duo for what could well be their final Town games.
“Certainly in terms of those two guys, Chambo and Cole, they have been exemplary pros for this football club and have been stand-out men and stand-out people.
“Chambo will be involved, as will probably Cole, in the squad on Sunday and what the team selection looks like will be seen.
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“For those two lads it would certainly have been a lot better had supporters and their families been allowed in the stadium to see them play, but that’s obviously not the case.
“Their futures are still to be decided as well, so while we do look on the sentimental side of it we also look at it in terms of wanting to win the game. That’s what football’s about.
“We’re trying to get messages into players consistently about how we play and what style and identity we have. In the last two games we’ve had enough chances to win football matches, which has obviously been a pleasing point.”
Chambers and Skuse, as well as Freddie Sears, are understood to be potential targets for near-neighbours Colchester United should their Ipswich careers end in the coming weeks, with Cook sure they have plenty of football left in them.
“They 100% both have football in them, whether that’s at Portman Road or not,” he said.
“We want to do everything properly now because it’s tough, as when a new manager and ownership comes in there can be so much doubt around the building. That’s not right.
“This is people’s livelihoods and families and it can be brutal. We have to remember all these people have feelings, do things as well as we can and play the game on Sunday.
“Hopefully people can have clarity on their futures going forward.”