‘We can’t afford to let the gap get any bigger’: Chambers still confident of successful season
PUBLISHED: 17:44 29 December 2017 | UPDATED: 17:44 29 December 2017
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Ipswich Town captain Luke Chambers is confident the club can still ‘achieve something’ this season but warned they can’t afford to let the gap between them and the top six become any greater.
The Blues sit 10th in the Championship table heading into today’s game with Derby County, five points off the final play-off spot, with Chambers happy to be involved in the promotion race at the turn of the year.
The Ipswich captain knows his side can still improve but, given the unpredictability of the second tier, believes everyone in the camp is full of confidence as they prepare to enter 2018.
“In the dressing room I think it’s in a lot better place,” he said. “Obviously, every year we come out and say the team spirit’s great, and we try to get through things.
“Comparing now to last year everything is good but it could be better. We should have given ourselves a better chance of winning against QPR on Boxing Day but we didn’t do that and now we’re looking to get one over Derby again on Saturday.
“I don’t think we can afford to let the gap to the top six get any bigger. Look at Aston Villa - they’ve dropped out of the play-offs after a run without a win.
“Any team can have a sticky patch, a losing run or a winning run. We showed earlier in the season that we are capable of winning four league games in a row and we’d won three out of four prior to the last two games.
“We’re still full of confidence, we’re confident that we can still achieve something this season and we’ll continue to push for that.”
Chambers and the rest of the Ipswich defence will need to keep Derby striker David Nugent quiet, just as they did when the two sides met at Pride Park a month ago.
The forward has an exceptional record against the Blues - scoring 15 in 16 games in total and 10 in eight matches for club and country - but Chambers insisted he is not the only danger.
“He is paid to score goals and he’s always been successful because he’s a very good player,” the Ipswich skipper said.
“But he’s not the only one we’ve got to worry about at Derby. I’ve just watched a video and they have eight players they can choose from for their attacking line-up. That’s what the money in this league can get you.
“He’s scored a lot of goals against Ipswich and we’ll have to take care of him like we did a few weeks ago.
“As the gaffer often says, let’s not try to anger the bear, but it was good to keep a clean sheet that night.
“We’ve made mistakes that have cost us goals but I don’t think anyone has had a field day against us and played us off the park.
“I think we have definitely looked solid when we’ve had a back four that has been quite regular over the last couple of months. That’s definitely helped us.”