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‘I’d have to live with being the captain who took us down... so I’d want to lead us back’ - Chambers on Town future

PUBLISHED: 10:36 12 February 2019 | UPDATED: 10:36 12 February 2019

Luke Chambers wants to be part of the club's future regardless of the outcome of their battle against relegation.    Picture: STEVE WALLER     WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM

Luke Chambers wants to be part of the club's future regardless of the outcome of their battle against relegation. Picture: STEVE WALLER WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Luke Chambers is hurting physically and mentally as Ipswich Town continue their battle to stay in the second tier. ANDY WARREN spoke to the skipper.

Luke Chambers urges his team-mates on at Carrow Road Picture: PAGEPIX LTDLuke Chambers urges his team-mates on at Carrow Road Picture: PAGEPIX LTD

“At the end of the day I am the one who has to live with being captain, if we drop down to a league we’ve not been in for 60 years.”

Is there anybody as hurt by Ipswich Town’s current situation as captain Luke Chambers?

The skipper, who has made 310 appearances for the Blues over seven years, has been hurt physically, mentally and emotionally by a season which currently sees the club rock bottom of the Championship and nine points from safety with time rapidly running out.

He’s currently playing with a broken wrist, suffered during an awkward fall over the advertising hoardings in the 1-0 victory over Rotherham, and had to have blood drained from his foot in order to take to the field in Sunday’s 3-0 derby defeat at Norwich.

It's been a season of hurt for Ipswich Town captain Luke Chambers.    Picture: STEVE WALLER     WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COMIt's been a season of hurt for Ipswich Town captain Luke Chambers. Picture: STEVE WALLER WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM

But there was no way he was going to miss that game.

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He knows, though, that the loss was another blow to what is becoming an increasingly desperate hope of staying in the Championship.

The 33-year-old is out of contract in the summer and it’s clear that relegation will be a severe dent to his pride, a burden that will weigh heavy on his shoulders.

Chambers will not stop fighting to help keep Ipswich in the Championship. Picture PagepixChambers will not stop fighting to help keep Ipswich in the Championship. Picture Pagepix

He will never stop fighting but, if the Blues are to be relegated to the third tier, then he wants to be the man to lead them back.

“It is a tall order but we have to continue to believe,” he said.

“We have this crest on our chest and we have to go out every single game, regardless of whether you have a bit of tightness, a bruise, a broken bone. You have to get out there and we need players on the pitch. We can’t afford people in the treatment room.

“We have to have that fight and you have to play with these things to give the team and the club the best chance of survival.

“At the end of the day I am the one who has to live with being captain, if we drop down to a league we’ve not been in for 60 years.

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“People will have their opinions on me and that’s football, people have opinions, but I’ll never lie down and I’ll continue to give everything like I have for this club over the last seven years.

“This is where I want to be, I want to be part of it, and if the worst comes to the worst I want to be together with those guys up there (the fans) that showed what a tremendous football club this is.

Chambers believes the Ipswich Town fans have been 'a credit to the club'. Picture: STEVE WALLERChambers believes the Ipswich Town fans have been 'a credit to the club'. Picture: STEVE WALLER

“I’ve spoken to Marcus (Evans, owner) and he’s outlined his plans, and the gaffer as well, but my main concern for the football club, regardless of whether I’m here or not, is that you’ve got to keep the manager here.

“I want to be a part of it, I think they want me to be a part of it but we need to start now. If we go down we have to go down with momentum so we can hit the ground running next year.”

While the focus remains on survival, heading into tomorrow night’s clash with Derby County, whatever happens from here on in, Chambers wants to ensure that if the Blues do go down, they go down fighting.

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Chambers believes Paul Lambert is the right man for the job at Portman Road.    Picture: STEVE WALLER     WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COMChambers believes Paul Lambert is the right man for the job at Portman Road. Picture: STEVE WALLER WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM

“Nobody should ever come to Portman Road and out-fight us, and that’s happened too often this season,” he said.

“We had a meeting this week where we’ve said we want to compete more than we have done but it shouldn’t require a meeting to say that. That should be in every single footballer playing at this level. We have to show the fight we’ve showed at Norwich.

“Fans will back you no matter what happens. You can play rubbish football but if you look like you’re having a go then people will back you.

“We’re trying to give the fans what they have craved for the last couple of years but ultimately we need to do what gives ourselves the best chance of winning games at the moment and we’ve gone into it playing a bit more direct with two up front which fans want to see.

Chambers broke his wrist in the home victory over Rotherham. Photo: Steve WallerChambers broke his wrist in the home victory over Rotherham. Photo: Steve Waller

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“Our fans have been an absolute credit to this football club and they deserve a helluva lot better than they’re getting at the moment.

“If we’re going to go down we’re going to go down with a fight now and that’s my clear message to everyone this week and moving forward now.

“I’ve previously played with injuries that other people wouldn’t be seen for a few weeks with but it’s not about me, it’s about what’s best for the club. We have to have people fighting for the club.

“At the end of the day we’re paid a helluva lot of money for the job that we do and you have to do whatever’s required of you to get out on that pitch and show a bit of bottle.

“If we play like we did against Norwich, nobody will want to play against us for the rest of the season.

“That needs to be the message.”

Chambers on... the ‘Carrow Road brawl’

Chambers has spoken to owner Marcus Evans regarding his future. Photo: STEVE WALLERChambers has spoken to owner Marcus Evans regarding his future. Photo: STEVE WALLER

“I’ve seen a lot of their staff off their feet so they’ll be going down the pub and telling their mates they were involved – a few jobsworths really.

“That’s football. I want to see that every Saturday.

“People are trying to take money out of your pockets and food off your kids’ table – that’s the kind of mentality you have to have.

“I think the referee has come over and the officials have got involved and I think, ultimately, they probably made the wrong decision. They’ve probably sent off the wrong person.

Chambers is currently playing with a broken wrist.    Picture: STEVE WALLER     WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COMChambers is currently playing with a broken wrist. Picture: STEVE WALLER WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM

“But those things sometimes need to happen in games and you need to turn the tide. That’s part of football and if anyone wants to have a scrap with us between now and the end of the season, we’ll have it.”

Chambers on... injured wrist and foot

“I probably wasn’t near 100 per cent to be honest but I don’t think it affected my performance too much,” he said.

“I’ve previously played with injuries that other people wouldn’t be seen for a few weeks with but it’s not about me, it’s about what’s best for the club. We have to have people fighting.

“It was touch and go in the end but the last few days had gone really well and I had quite a lot of blood drained off my foot on Thursday which made things a lot better.

“It was a freak injury really where I kicked someone’s studs and wasn’t able to get red of the swelling.

“At the end of the day we’re paid a helluva lot of money for the job that we do and you have to do whatever’s required of you to get out on that pitch and show a bit of bottle.

“I broke my wrist against Rotherham when I went flying over those boards but you just strap it up and go again.

“You try and keep that under the radar because there are some clowns out there who try and target it. There was a clown out there against Norwich who stamped on my foot a couple of times in the melee and they are obviously well aware I have a bad foot.

“Fair play to them but it will take a lot more than that to keep me down.”

Chambers on... Norwich

“You take your medicine and move on but we’ll see them again. We’ll see what they do.

“They’re in a great position now and hopefully for them they have the characters to see it through. I didn’t particular see the characters out there for them that they might need if teams come here and do what we did to them.

“Yes they’ve won the game but it could have easily turned and we could have easily got back into it if we had that little bit more quality.

“I’m not really too fussed about what they do but we’ll see them again in the near future I’m sure.”

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