DONCASTER Rovers defender James Chambers won’t be sad to see the back of 2011 after managing just a handful of appearances during an injury-hit year.
The right-back made his comeback from knee surgery at the start of the year and played in both FA Cup games against Wolves and several league games before suffering further problems with his troublesome knee.
After further rest and treatment failed to resolve the problem Chambers was booked in for further surgery in March after which he was told that he’d probably be out for most of the year.
“In hindsight I probably came back a little bit too soon but at the time we all thought that I was ready because I’d done all the rehab,” he said. “But there was a further complication with my knee and there was an area that was affected that we didn’t know about at the time.”
Chambers, who will celebrate his 31st birthday on Sunday, says it has been a frustrating few months but hopes to be back in full training early in the New Year.
Such is the strength in depth of the Rovers back-four Chambers accepts that he will have to fight for his place in the side.
“For me it’s the normal kind of situation,” he said. “When I was at Leicester there were seven or eight people on the books who could play right-back so I don’t think the situation is going to affect me.
“Competition for places is part of football and I’ve had it throughout my career” Even though the fact that the club is looking to bring in further big-name players on initial short-term contracts may make it even more difficult to win back his place in the side, Chambers says he backs the initiative.
“When new players come in it gives a lift to the team,” he said. “Obviously with the situation we were in something needed to change.
Chambers knows that he will have to impress new manager Dean Saunders if he is to regain his place in the team.
“I’ve spoken to him a couple of times but obviously with being injured I’ve not had as much to do with him as most of the other players,” he said.
“The results when he first took over were pretty good but then we had a bit of a dip after that for several games but we had a good win at Ipswich in our last game.
“If we can build on that and get some momentum going before the end of the year it would give us a chance of climbing the table in the second half of the season. like we did in our first season in the Championship.
“Saturday’s game at Barnsley will be difficult but I think that with the experience and ability that we’ve now got in the team that hopefully we’ll come out on top. With the way that El-Hadji Diouf and Billy Sharp are playing up front you’d like to think that we are going to get goals.”