Thunderstorms

Thunderstorms

max temp: 23°C

min temp: 15°C

Search
Kings of Anglia Issue 10 Magazine Offer

'They could play for a hell of a lot more years... but time will always catch you' - Lambert discusses futures of Chambers and Skuse

PUBLISHED: 15:43 21 February 2019 | UPDATED: 16:39 21 February 2019

Cole Skuse and Luke Chambers have both sat out the last two Ipswich Town games through illness and injury respectively. That had only happened once before for a league game in their near six seasons together at the club. Photo: Steve Waller

Cole Skuse and Luke Chambers have both sat out the last two Ipswich Town games through illness and injury respectively. That had only happened once before for a league game in their near six seasons together at the club. Photo: Steve Waller

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert says experienced duo Luke Chambers and Cole Skuse both have big roles to play for the club going forwards.

Ipswich Town captain Luke Chambers is out of contract in the summer. Photo: Steve WallerIpswich Town captain Luke Chambers is out of contract in the summer. Photo: Steve Waller

Both players have been virtual ever-presents for the club since joining on Bosman free transfers from Nottingham Forest (2012) and Bristol City (2013) respectively.

Indeed, prior to last week, there had been only one occasion where neither had started a league game in almost six years.

MORE: ‘I’d have to live with being the captain who took us down... so I’d want to lead us back’ - Chambers on Town future

Injury and illness kept the duo out of the home games against Derby and Stoke though and, in their absence, a young side secured 1-1 draws against big budget opposition.

Best friends off the field – Skuse was best man at Chambers’ wedding in 2015 – the duo will both be 33 at the start of next season.

Skuse is contracted until 2020, while Chambers is due to be out of contract this summer, though the club do have the option to extend that deal by a further 12 months.

Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert believes Luke Chambers has taken on 'too much' as club captain in recent years. Photo: Steve WallerIpswich Town manager Paul Lambert believes Luke Chambers has taken on 'too much' as club captain in recent years. Photo: Steve Waller

MORE: Lambert gets two-game touchline ban for Norwich red card... as Canaries are hit with bigger fine than Blues

Chambers has said that, if the rock-bottom Blues do get relegated to League One, he wants to be the man who leads them back to the Championship.

On the skipper’s contract situation, Lambert said: “We’ve spoken about it and (owner) Marcus (Evans) is going to speak to Luke as well, which is good.

“Luke knows everything that’s going on, I know most of what’s going on and Marcus and Lee (O’Neill, general manager football operations) know.

“I know they’ve had discussion of what’s going on moving forward, which is good.”

Lambert went on to say that the duo’s roles are ‘paramount’ going forwards.

Paul Lambert puts an arm round a disappointed Cole Skuse following the 2-1 defeat by West Bromwich Albion. Photo: Steve WallerPaul Lambert puts an arm round a disappointed Cole Skuse following the 2-1 defeat by West Bromwich Albion. Photo: Steve Waller

“You have to have that experience around the club,” he said. “I can’t think of two more lads who I’d want around the place to help the youngsters. They’re great role models. You need that calming head and influence.

MORE: Town season ticket holders offered free pie as part of exclusive pre-match event

“Whether the lads start games, are on the bench or just around the place, it’s a paramount.

“Young lads may think they know everything that’s going on but you tend to find that there’s a little more to it that just playing football sometimes. You have to live right and do the right things and keep your feet on the ground.

“Those lads have had unbelievable careers and that’s why I say there are no better role models to look at.”

The Blues boss added: “They could go on for another few years – 100 per cent – because of the way they live and conduct themselves.

Cole Skuse was best man at Luke Chambers' wedding in 2015. Photo: Steve WallerCole Skuse was best man at Luke Chambers' wedding in 2015. Photo: Steve Waller

“They very rarely miss training and are really fit. They could play for a hell of a lot more years.

“They still have a real part to play. They won’t always play every single game because age and injury will always get you at some stage, but as role models and guys to look up to I wouldn’t swap them for anybody.

MORE: ‘I’m an Ipswich Town player is the way I look at it’ – Keane interested in staying at Portman Road

“But you can never beat time and it will always catch you. It gets everybody in the end.

“When your career’s coming to an end you know that’s coming. You have to look over your shoulder at what’s coming. I’ve been there, seen it and done it. Then it’s about whether you want to go into management, coaching young players or ambassador roles.

“I think they are two guys who have done a lot for the football club and I think it’s a good idea (to keep them involved with the club). Whether that’s as youth coaches or in ambassador roles or whatever.

Luke Chambers has made more than 300 appearances for Ipswich Town since joining on a Bosman free transfer from Nottingham Forest in 2012. Photo: Steve WallerLuke Chambers has made more than 300 appearances for Ipswich Town since joining on a Bosman free transfer from Nottingham Forest in 2012. Photo: Steve Waller

“Whatever the case my be it’s important the club look at that.”

MORE: Young defender Ndaba signs first pro deal with Blues

Reflecting on the importance of experienced players for him when he made the breakthrough at St Mirren as a teenager, Lambert said: “I played with some unbelievable, battle-hardened guys and there were some unbelievable things that I saw in dressing rooms.

“That made me hard and strong in the head and thankfully I did play with those guys. Brian Gallagher, Jimmy Rooney, Billy Abercromby, Tony Fitzpatrick, Frank McAvennie, Jim Stewart, Cameron White and Neil Cooper. Unbelievable guys, really good players and I knew if I messed around I’d be getting a back-hander.

“I wouldn’t have changed that for the world.

“Their boots had to be spotless, the dressing room had to be spotless but what an upbringing that was. What it did give me was the discipline which was great.

Cole Skuse has also been a near ever-present for Ipswich Town since joining on a Bosman free transfer from Bristol City in 2013. Photo: PagepixCole Skuse has also been a near ever-present for Ipswich Town since joining on a Bosman free transfer from Bristol City in 2013. Photo: Pagepix

MORE: ‘Agents are a drain on the game’ - Chambers trying to advise Town’s young talents

“I’m so glad that was the group of players I was brought up with and it’s an important part of my career.”

Then, reflecting on the end of his playing career, he said: “I knew I was going to retire because I had a little problem with my ankle.

“One or two guys went by me who wouldn’t have done the year before and I knew then it was time to go.

“The thing then is that you have to make that decision. I had a great career, great times and a great success and I couldn’t ask anymore of myself.

“But when you career is coming to an end you have to think about management, coaching, TV or journalism.”

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the East Anglian Daily Times

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists