‘The pressure is potentially more on them’ – Chambers on top-of-the-table clash with Wycombe
PUBLISHED: 15:15 25 November 2019 | UPDATED: 15:15 25 November 2019
Ipswich Town host Wycombe in a top-two League One clash at Portman Road tomorrow night. Skipper Luke Chambers has been speaking to the media about that game, Paul Lambert’s squad rotation and more.
Q: First versus second. Is there a bit more importance on this one?
A: It is another game, but where we both are in the table adds to it. They are flying high and doing really well, they are becoming the team everyone is looking at now, but it's an opportunity to pick up three points and still have two games in hand.
We're still in a good position. Yeah, we probably didn't get the result we were after at the weekend (2-2 home draw with Blackpool), but this is another great game for us to get out teeth into.
Q: Must-win is obviously over-stating it, but a game you can afford to lose?
A: I think we approach every game that mentality. We don't want to lose any games, we don't want to draw any games. We want to win and we are setting up as a team to go and win games.
There will be opportunities we don't take and there will be times we fall short.
There is a little bit extra pressure on this game, but probably more so on them at the minute because they are the ones who find themselves at the top of the league. We'll see how they deal with it.
Q: Top-of-the-table clash, under the lights, in front of your own fans... These must the games you relish?
A: Absolutely. When the game was called off (due to international call-ups) the lads were itching to play it. For whatever reason we've called it off and, yeah, we find ourselves in a position where it's first v second.
As I said, the pressure is potentially more on them than it is us. We'll be backed by another 20,000 that have been fantastic for us.
It's one we're definitely looking forward to and I can't wait to get out there.
Q: Are you surprised Wycombe are top?
A: I think even their manager has said he is surprised and they are punching above their weight.
Who's to say that's wrong? They are scoring goals, getting goals from all over the pitch, they are playing a way that is getting results, so they are starting to become a team to be reckoned with.
You don't find yourself in this position on those points if you're not a good team. We're fully prepared and looking forward to the battle.
Q: (Wycombe midfielder) Matt Bloomfield does a bit of coaching at the Ipswich academy. Have you spoken to him in the build-up?
A: Me and Matty were in David Lloyd gym over the summer doing some work and have stayed in touch since.
I remember him from when we both started out. He was playing for Wycombe and I was playing for Northampton. We've had pretty good careers so I'll be looking forward to having a battle against him again.
I won't be asking him for too many tips though. It's about us playing our game.
Q: Do you look around this dressing room and think 'this is a squad that should go up?'
A: We need to be looking at each other and thinking that. We've had a good start to the season and we need to continue that. We've got those extra games that we missed out on and we want them to come thick and fast.
We've had a bit of time off and not many players like that. We want to be playing week-in, week-out. That's why we're looking forward to the next few weeks.
Q: How did you find not playing between Rochdale and Blackpool (a 17-day gap)?
A: It's tough. You're always trying to fulfil different little roles throughout the team. If you're not playing in the team during the two day lead-up to it then you're trying to give the lads the best support you can and maybe you don't get as much training as you'd like or as many high volume minutes.
But we've had quite a lot of training. It's just when you're not playing and you're not really getting rhythm it's quite difficult.
Saying that, I felt the lads came out the blocks sharply at the weekend and we gave a good account of ourselves. But we didn't win the game, so we're a little bit disappointed.
Q: Was it the FA Cup games in particular that you were a little bit disappointed missing?
A: I want to play in every game. At the end of the day the manager has made no secret of it from day one that this is what he wants to do this season.
He's got a squad which is big enough to cope with all these cup games. It's down to us as a squad to deal with it and perform when we're asked.
To have three weeks break was a little bit difficult, but we got the cobwebs out on Tuesday when the gaffer organised an in-house game and, as I say, I thought the lads gave a good performance at the weekend.
Q: Do you feel capable of playing every game still?
A: Definitely so. That's what I want to try and do. I'll play in the cup games, I'll play whenever. I feel good. I'm not suffering from any injuries.
Q: Just 12 goals conceded in 16 games in the league. Proud of that defensive record?
A: Yeah, but we conceded two at the weekend. One was contentious from my point of view.
They (Blackpool) had two opportunities in the game and scored two goals. That was one performance where we did dominate. They didn't really get out their half too much. Maybe that was their game plan.
That was a little bit of a frustration that we didn't really capitalise on the possession and the chances we could have created.
Q: Talk us through that penalty...
A: Woolfy is coming across him and as he's just got a bit of a yard I've just tried to run alongside him and block the shot. I've not tried to win the ball.
So that was my frustration. I've not even slid towards him, I've slid alongside to bock the angle of the ball.
You saw the reaction of the boys. I couldn't believe it, but this happens and it's one you just have to look back on with a shake of the head.
Q: Talking of Luke Woolfenden, what's it been like playing alongside him and seeing him progress?
A: He's just a tremendous lad. He's a good professional, he's got a very, very cool head on his shoulders and that can be an advantage. He's not overt-awed by situations and continues to go about his business.
We play off each other pretty well. He understands the way I play and I understand the way he plays. It's nice.
It's really good to see him moving forward from what he did last year. It shows any young player there is a route to the first team if they go out and get minutes under their belt on loan. He came back, proved himself in pre-season and has not looked back since.
Q: There have been a lot of formations this season, what do you think suits the team best?
A: I think we are better with three in midfield at the minute. I think we've had some good performances with 3-5-2.
The manager sits down and assesses each opponent and decides he best way to go.
We've got enough in the dressing room to play 4-3-3, play 4-4-2, play 3-5-2. He's got that many options to chose from, so that's probably why we've seen quite a few formations this season.
Q: A word on Janoi Donacien, he's really returned to form in the last few weeks hasn't he?
A: I thought he was our man of the match at the weekend.
Seeing a player like Kane Vincent-Young come to the club and be absolutely flying then, yeah, he probably thought time was not on his side.
But credit to him; his professionalism, his attitude, the way he trains, the way he plays and the way he is around the stadium - he's a fantastic player to have at the football club.
Credit to him for bouncing back and taking those opportunities. And he's not the only one who's taken opportunities in the cup.
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