'It shows a level of consistency... Hopefully there are many more to come' - Chambers on reaching 300 games
PUBLISHED: 06:00 01 December 2018
Luke Chambers looks back at his Ipswich Town career with a sense of pride as he prepares to make his 300th appearance for the club this afternoon.
The Blues captain joined on a free transfer from Nottingham Forest in the summer and has been a permanent fixture in the side ever since, with his milestone appearance coming against a club he so nearly rejoined on transfer deadline day in January 2017.
The 33-year-old, whose contract expires in the summer with the club holding an option to extend that by 12 months, hopes there are many more appearances to come in a blue shirt.
“Making 300 appearances for the club is an achievement I’m proud of,” he said.
“I’m proud of the number of games I’ve played at this level in general. I think it can get overlooked now, the appearances you make.
“It shows a level of consistency and also availability.
“I have been here six years and a bit now and this club has been a massive part of my career so to play 300 games for Ipswich Town is great. Hopefully there are many more to come.
“There have been highs and lows in that time but there always will be. That’s the nature of the game.
“I have played a lot of games; met a lot of people; experienced so much. I have played under managers I have learned from and feel that I’m in a good position now to deal with a lot of different scenarios.”
The 2014/15 season, in which Ipswich made the Championship play-offs before losing to rivals Norwich over two legs, holds the biggest memories for Chambers, both positive and negative.
“Going top of the Championship on Boxing Day at Brentford in the year we got to the play-offs is a particular highlight,” Chambers said.
“There is only one thing I’d change in my time here if I could – losing to our neighbours in the play-offs that year. The rest, I’ll take it as it is.
“Yes I came here to win promotion to the Premier League and it’s been a disappointment that we haven’t achieved that yet.
“I don’t think I could have given any more in trying to get there though. I’m confident if I had the chance, I could play at that level. I’ve just not had the opportunity and that’s life.”
Blues boss lambert said: “To play 300 games for one club is a brilliant achievement. Not many players in the modern game stay for that length of time at a club and make that number of appearances.
“It shows his consistency and I can’t give him a bigger compliment than say that you know what you are going to get out of him every week.
“He has the respect of everyone at the club and rightly so. He’s a humble guy and that has stood him in good stead. He is very steady in his temperament and that is a major part of being a footballer.
“We have a young group of players here and they look to him as well. I’m delighted to have him here. He’s been excellent for me.”
5 - Town have dropped points to goals conceded beyond the 84th minute in five of their last seven games at Nottingham Forest
1999 - Town’s last win at Forest (L7 D6)
£19m - Forest spent on Carvalho and Grabban
Last five finishes: 17th, 21st, 16th, 14th, 11th (all Championship)
Manager: Aitor Karanka (Jan ‘18): P44 W14 D17 L13
Last game: D 5-5 Aston Villa (a)
Form: DWWDW DDWLW
Home league record: W4 D4 L1 F11 A8
Margins of victory: 1 (x5), 2 (x3), 3 (x1)
Margins of defeat: 1 (x3)
Most league starts: Pantilimon (19), Carvalho (17), Colback (16), Grabban, Lolley (15)
Top-scorers: Grabban (13), Lolley (7), Cash (5), Murphy (4)
Nottingham Forest 2 Ipswich Town 1
Date: Saturday, April 14, 2018
Town suffered late heartache in what was Bryan Klug’s first game as caretaker boss following Mick McCarthy’s exit.
The Blues led through Grant Ward’s header (37), but the City Ground curse struck again as Ben Brereton (pen 89) and Joe Lolley (95) scored at the death.
Ipswich Town team news
• Paul Lambert has named the same team for all four of his games in charge, but says he will freshen things up for a third game in nine days.
• The Blues boss has hinted that at least one of young midfield duo Flynn Downes and Trevoh Chalobah will be rested. Teddy Bishop could be handed his first league start since Boxing Day 2017.
• Tom Adeyemi remains a long-term absentee, while Emyr Huws and Myles Kenlock are not ready to play after injuries.
• Tayo Edun has returned to parent club Fulham for treatment on an eye injury.
Nottingham Forest team news
• Portuguese centre-back Tobias Figueiredo is suspended following his red card in Wednesday night’s 5-5 draw at Aston Villa. He is likely to be replaced by former Huddersfield man Michael Hefele.
• Aitor Karanka has settled on a 4-2-3-1 system of late and become more consistent with his selections.
• Former Town striker Daryl Murphy, now 35, scored four goals in six games at the start of the season but has struggled with a virus and not featured in a squad since October 6.
• Danny Fox (foot) and Hillal Soudani (knee) both continue their recoveries.
Key opposition man
The left-winger scored one spectacular goal and produced four assists in midweek. Jordan Spence, if he starts, will need to be much-improved for Town up against a player linked to several Premier League clubs.
Nottingham Forest 13/19
Ipswich Town 11/2
James Linington (Newport)
Nottingham Forest 3 Ipswich Town 1
Forest a good side. Worry that midweek defeat has hurt Town.