'There's a hell of a chance he'll play a lot of games... but time remains undefeated' - Lambert on Chambers
PUBLISHED: 16:37 29 March 2019 | UPDATED: 16:37 29 March 2019
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Paul Lambert has backed Luke Chambers to 'play a hell of a lot of games' for the Blues next season but warned that Father Time will ultimately catch the Ipswich Town skipper.
Chambers recently put pen to paper on a new two-year deal at Portman Road, having previously stated his desire to lead the club back if the worst happens and the Blues drop into League One.
Now 33, Chambers has already stated his desire to play another 100 games, with Lambert backing his captain to play a major part.
He did warn, though, as he has on a number of occasions, that ‘time remains undefeated’ when it comes to players in the final stages of their careers.
“Listen, your brain will say one thing and your legs might tell you another but that comes with age and you can’t stop that,” Lambert said.
“Time remains undefeated, time always catches you as a player. In an ideal world he’ll have that in his head, ‘I want to play every game,’ and if he keeps fit and he keeps healthy then there’s a hell of a chance he’ll play a lot of games.
“Can you play a full season of 60-odd games? It’s difficult for anybody and it’s been proven because he missed some games here with his foot injury, so could anybody play 60 games in a season in any part of the world?
“It’s a difficult thing to do, but if he stays healthy and stays in the shape he’s in at the minute, barring suspensions, then there’s a good chance he’ll play a hell of a lot of games.”
On his relationship with Chambers, and the club’s senior players, Lambert said: “There’s always that between a manager and a captain,” he reflected. “I think there’s good experienced ones that I can bounce things off of as well.
“I think I’ve got a good relationship with all of the guys, I get on well with them all, I laugh with them all but there’s always got to be that fine line and I think the lads are great ones to work with.
“And if there’s anything major I need to think, ‘Okay I’ll put it to them’, then Luke’s one and Cole’s one as well Bart’s one, Deano’s one and they can go and speak to the players so it’s no problem that.”
Lambert also said he rates Chambers highly among the captains he worked with as both a player and a manager.
“He’s definitely up there the way he is as a person without a doubt that’s plain for everybody to see,” Lambert said.
“There have been some really top captains that I’ve played with, ones that I’ve managed who have been great and I’ve been one myself so I know how it kind of works with the whole scenario, so he’s certainly up there with one of the best.
“Just because he’s been here that length of time doesn’t grant you immortality but it gives you a foothold in the club and whatever is happening.
“One day he’ll have to retire, that’s for sure, 100 per cent that is coming and when that day comes he’ll be thinking what he’s going to do next and that’s why I’ve said to you before it’s important the club has people like that in ambassadorial roles and I think that’s always my stance on that.”