Nottingham Forest wouldn’t be in a relegation scrap if they’d signed Luke Chambers, says Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy
Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy believes Nottingham Forest wouldn’t be in a last day relegation battle had they signed skipper Luke Chambers on January transfer deadline day.
Blues skipper Chambers – then heading into the final six months of his deal – was given permission to talk to Forest, the club he made more than 200 appearances for between 2007 and 2012, about a two-year contract on January 31.
McCarthy pulled the plug on a move late in the day though and now Chambers, in a twist of fate, could play his part in relegating Forest when Town visit The City Ground on Sunday (12pm ko, Sky Sports).
Mark Warburton’s side are outside of the drop-zone on goal difference and in a three-way fight for safety along with Blackburn Rovers and Birmingham City.
Chambers finally put pen-to-paper on a two-year contract extension at Portman Road this morning.
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“Isn’t it funny how football works that way?” said McCarthy. “Under different circumstances, if there had been a player we could have took in, then it might have happened (Chambers signing for Forest).
“I didn’t want it to, but I fully understand you can feel insecure as a player. If your contract is coming to an end and you get an injury then you’re in trouble. Having been a player, I get that.
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“The fact is the club wasn’t in a position to say where we were going to be at that moment in time as we were in a scrap then to stay in this league.
“I certainly didn’t want to lose a good player and a very good captain, while Chambo, who is settled and loves being at this club, didn’t want to leave. However, there was a two-year offer for him there.
“I guess the perfect scenario would have been us saying ‘there’s your two-year contract, you’re staying here’, but the club wasn’t sure where we were going to be.”
McCarthy continued: “I told Chambo ‘if this is the best for you, then we’ll let it happen, but only if I can get a replacement’. And I’m not talking about somebody just to come in and play, because there’s a difference isn’t there?
“I said to him that then, and only then, would we consider it. So whilst I considered letting it happen, it was always going to be a ‘no’ if we couldn’t get a replacement.”
He added: “We’ve benefitted from keeping a good defender and really good captain, while they probably wouldn’t be in this position if they’d have got him.
“The bottom line is he’s stayed and got a new two-year contract. And he won’t be giving them any quarters on Sunday, I can assure you of that.”