Sunday, June 4, 2023

Derek McInnes praises ‘refreshing’ attitude of defender Luke Chambers

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 19 May 2023


Derek McInnes praised the “maturity” and “refreshing” attitude of loan defender Luke Chambers who passed up on the chance of a World Cup place with England Under-20s to help Kilmarnock beat the drop.

The 18-year-old left-back, who joined Killie on loan from Liverpool in January, asked to be excluded from the Young Lions squad for the prestigious tournament which gets under way in Argentina on Saturday.

Chambers’ focus will be on the last three cinch Premiership fixtures of the season, starting with the visit of St Johnstone on Saturday.

Following their 2-0 win over Livingston last weekend, the Rugby Park outfit are in 10th place, three points above bottom club Dundee United and just two points behind ninth-placed Saints and McInnes is pleased to have all the help he can get.

“It is so refreshing,” said the Killie boss.

“When I got the email saying Luke was being included in the 20s squad I looked at the dates and thought we would have an issue here and with Ben Chrisene’s injury, out for the season. It seemed there could be an emergency and panic on.

“I spoke to Luke the next morning and he wasn’t aware he was being brought into the squad at that stage but right away he said, ‘I can’t go, my job is here’ and that is exactly what I wanted to hear.

“It was so refreshing that he felt that obligation to be here and amongst it.

“To hear that certainty and maturity really, that he felt the responsibility to stay here and fight our cause was great.

“Obviously we spoke with his agent and dad and Liverpool were keen for Luke to make that decision.

“We spoke to England and they understand. Luke is very passionate about playing for his country.

“It would have been a good opportunity and showcase for him to be involved in the World Cup in Argentina, I don’t think it was dismissed easily.

“But it says everything about him really.

“For all the loan players I have worked with over the years, he is probably up there with the best, not just with his ability.

“A more popular boy you won’t find in the dressing room and such a good kid. He has a lot of old-school values and a real honesty about him.”

Killie’s home record has been key in keeping the Ayrshire side in with a chance of survival.

McInnes’s side have won eight and drawn five of their 17 home games as opposed to winning one and drawing two of their 18 away games.

He said: “I am pleased with the home record this season.

“It is clear as day if anyone can’t see it, how much my players need as much help as possible. Any little advantage we have we have to tap into and clearly being at home has been an advantage to us.

“Our home record really illustrates that. The home record with the fans behind us is strong. We look forward to playing at home and look forward to Saturday albeit it is a high-pressure game.

“If we win the game it helps our cause, no doubt about it.

“We are hoping we can have that all-as-one approach to it, the fans, all I would ask is they stay with the team even if things aren’t going as well as we would hope because I think the team and support that sticks together the most in the last few games can actually help the outcome.

“We will be doing all we can to give them something to shout about but equally supports stay with the team it can help matters on the pitch.”


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