‘We have to use this as a reset’ - Chambers on Town’s promotion hopes if and when football returns
- Credit: Archant
Ipswich Town captain Luke Chambers believes his side can use football’s coronavirus suspension as a ‘reset’ to force their way back into the promotion race - if and when the game returns.
The Blues’ 1-0 home loss to leaders Coventry on March 7 left Paul Lambert’s men 10th, seven points off the play-offs when the sport was halted, following a slide down the table having topped the league as recently as January.
However, Chambers believes the Blues can still have a say in the promotion race if the game returns, with the skipper pointing to the return of injured players such as Kane Vincent-Young, Jack Lankester and James Norwood.
“We still feel like we have an opportunity if and when the season restarts, to have a go, but we’re not where we want to be,” the Town skipper said during an interview with talkSPORT.
“We had injuries to key players and also others playing through the pain barrier. It’s hard to make excuses for it but some of the players we lost to injury would have been in the team week in, week out, and any team would struggle with that when you’re trying to run for promotion. We never really got that group back together so maybe this could be a positive and we could get people back.
“The manager has been on the phone a few times and we’ve had group chats about how we all feel. We have to use this as a reset, we have nearly everyone available, which is a bonus, and they’ll be ready to go. Having the squad we have got and with everyone fit we would like to think we’ll have a good run-in.
“We’ve been playing in front of 20,000 in League One which isn’t something everyone has done before, so that’s something some of the lads need to overcome and have that expectation on their shoulders.
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“We had our confidence knocked around October time and never recovered the fluency we had when we were flying which has been frustrating. I can’t put my finger on why.
“We focussed on ourselves at the start but, for whatever reason, we had changes in the team and couldn’t get the rhythm back. It’s a tough league and the games come thick and fast.
“Did we take our foot off the gas a little bit? I don’t know.”
The Blues have eight games remaining, with five of those scheduled to be at home and five against sides in the league’s bottom eight.
MORE: League One players ‘told season could be cancelled and no fans expected in stadiums until January’Chambers, who recently became a father for the fourth time, also spoke about how tough it has been to try and stay fit away from training during a time when there is a restriction on how often you can leave your home for exercise.
“It’s tough but you try and keep things mixed and do some work on the bike, a bit of running,” he said.
“But replicating training every day is tough, especially because we don’t have a set date to come back which makes it hard to keep that motivation up.”
As things stand, the Blues can’t return to training until May 16 as the EFL retain hope of resuming the season behind-closed-doors in June.
However, in recent days the prospect of the League One and League Two seasons not resuming has grown, with clubs told that is a ‘real possibility’ following a meeting of the EFL board last week.