LUKE IS BACK ON THE RIGHT ROAD!

The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By Joshua Richards

YOU can’t teach an old dog new tricks goes the proverb, but Ip­swich Town’s Luke Cham­bers knows it’s his much-prac­tised art that is let­ting him down.

The 30-year-old Trac­tor Boys skip­per has forged a ca­reer as a cen­tre-back but has been asked by boss Mick McCarthy to shuf­fle along the de­fence this term.

In the early days of Cham­bers’ ca­reer such a change would have been sub­tle, but full-back has be­come a spe­cial­ist po­si­tion, with ev­ery­one from the Premier League to Sun­day League ex­pected to be as tal­ented at both ends of the pitch as Roberto Car­los or Ash­ley Cole.

A goal and two as­sists be­fore yes­ter­day’s trip to Charl­ton seem to in­di­cate he’s offering Ip­swich an out­let at the top end.

Qual­ity

But be­fore go­ing to the Val­ley, only the Cham­pi­onship’s bot­tom club Bolton Wan­der­ers had con­ceded more goals on the road.

And Cham­bers con­cedes is an area that must im­prove if they are to reach the top six.

“The qual­ity of the for­wards in the di­vi­sion is high, so I’m al­ways learn­ing how best to deal with them, even though I’m the wrong side of 30,” he said.

“I feel like I’m do­ing al­right this sea­son. When I came to the club my pre­ferred po­si­tion was cen­tre-back, but I’ve been de­ployed at right-back and it was some­thing that took some get­ting used to.

“We know that we haven’t been dif­fi­cult enough to score against as a team, and that’s prob­a­bly the rea­son we are where we are.

“We started the sea­son really well, then dropped off a bit but we feel like we are back play­ing well at the mo­ment.

“We feel with the squad that we have got we should be higher up the ta­ble, but at the same time we are aware if we don’t do our jobs then we won’t be in the play-offs.

“I’m al­ways learn­ing. I’m try­ing to get my­self for­ward when I can. I’ve scored and got a few as­sists, so that’s cer­tainly an area I’m im­prov­ing on. I’ve had to learn how to get up and down, rather than just shuf­fling from right to left as a cen­tre­back. I’m cer­tainly putting the miles in.

“I’ve al­ways been my own per­son, I don’t try and model my game on any­one. I try to of­fer all I can for the team. That’s what the man­ager has asked me to do and as cap­tain, that is part of the job.

“The gaffer and TC [Terry Con­nor] have been great with me.” In Septem­ber Cham­bers was fined £600 for speed­ing, hav­ing been sum­moned to South East Suf­folk Mag­is­trates Court, af­ter fail­ing to pay an ini­tial £100 fixed-penalty or take up the op­tion of com­plet­ing a speed aware­ness course.

But the for­mer Not­ting­ham For­est and Northamp­ton Town star laughed off sug­ges­tions he might be go­ing off the rails and in­stead is lov­ing life on and off the pitch in Ip­swich.

“I came out the train­ing ground and the po­lice were hid­ing be­hind a fence,” ex­plained Cham­bers, of the in­ci­dent in May.

Aware­ness

“I was on prob­a­bly the qui­etest road in Ip­swich do­ing 36 miles per hour on a 30 road and they caught me. I shouldn’t have been do­ing it. They sent me a let­ter with the op­tion of do­ing a speed aware­ness course and I didn’t re­ply. Then I had my stag do and wed­ding and all of a sud­den a few weeks had passed.

“The next let­ter I got was sum­mon­ing me to court. It was my own fault and the mis­sus gave me stick for not read­ing my mail – but she still mar­ried me!

“Life’s good at the mo­ment down in Suf­folk. The only dif­fi­cult thing is bal­anc­ing in a so­cial life be­cause we seem to be play­ing Tues­day-Satur­day-Tues­day at the mo­ment and are miles away from any­one else.”

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

FULL-BACK OP­TION: Ip­swich’s Luke Cham­bers is happy to shift across the back­line

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