Luke Chambers' future is not decided, but he has said a few emotional goodbyes at Nottingham Forest
LUKE Chambers' future may not yet be set in stone, but you get the impression he has said a few goodbyes just in case.
The Nottingham Forest skipper freely admits he does not know where he will be playing next season.
And, behind the scenes, he had a Reds shirt signed by the rest of the squad.
Whether that proves to be a memento of a frustrating season or, indeed, his Forest career, remains to be seen.
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But the abiding memories as he heads into an uncertain summer will be ones tinged with frustration and regret.
Forest may not have suffered the ultimate shame of relegation and return to League One.
But it was still not the campaign Forest had hoped for, when they kicked-off amid an air of expectation and optimism under Steve McClaren back in August.
"We had to reassess our situation as the season went on and it soon became our only priority to stay in the division," said Chambers.
"We managed to secure a position where we were ten points clear in the end.
"And I did feel for the Portsmouth players last weekend, because you could see how much it was hurting them as the final whistle went.
"Even the gaffer's happiness was tinged with a bit of sympathy for his former club.
"It is just the way things have gone in football and Portsmouth had to suffer the consequences, unfortunately.
"It was an emotional day for the fans of both clubs, in different ways. But I don't think I have been involved in a more emotional day for players, either.
"Whether it was just for the next few months or for the future, it was a time to say goodbye.
"There are players out of contract and loan players who are going back to their clubs. So it might have been the last time that a lot of these players were together as a squad.
"The morale and togetherness that we forged was remarkable, so that made it a sad day for us, without a doubt."
While the season finale may have marked the end of a Championship era for financially stricken Portsmouth – and provided a sense of anti-climax for Forest – Chambers says it was important for Cotterill's side to end with a win.
Their 2-0 success over Pompey was only their sixth of the season at the City Ground.
"We wanted to end on a high note, we had wanted to do that at Hull and then have a home win against Portsmouth.
"The first half was a bit like a testimonial game and the gaffer was not too happy. He wanted us to take the game to them and we did that in the second half.
"It was nice to finish with a win and send people home on a positive note.
"We wanted to end that way because of what had happened at home this season.
"Once we had achieved our goal of staying in the division, perhaps we did take our foot off the gas. We did go to Hull and boss them; we played them off the park for long spells.
"But we somehow managed to come home with a defeat, which is probably the story of our season.
"The fans deserved to go home with a smile on their faces. Hopefully they can have a positive view about the future.
"Over the last few months, the fans were fantastic.
"We have all been through a tough time; every player in that dressing room has found it tough, everyone connected with the club has as well, including the fans.
"It is difficult when you are down there, because we are used to being at the other end of the table.
"It has been a test of everyone's character. I have not been involved in a group of individuals who have shown as much character as this group have, when the pressure has been on.
"We deserved to get ourselves out of the mess we found ourselves in. Thankfully, we did that."
There remain some significant hurdles for Forest still to overcome this summer, as the estate of Nigel Doughty continue their search for new owners for the club. And Chambers admits the sense of uncertainty has crept into the dressing room.
"I don't know where the football club is going or where the finances are going to be," he said.
"It has been a waiting game for everyone since we had the sad news about Nigel passing away.
"Things were up in the air from that moment onwards.
"The boys who are out of contract fully understand the situation; we understand the club may not be in a position to offer contracts right now.
"It is going to be a waiting game. We will see.
"I have done my job, by captaining the side as we secured our place in the division.
"That was always at the front of my mind, ahead of anything else.
"It is an attractive club. There are 23,000 people turning up for games that have no bearing on things at the end of the season.
"The following is there, the fan base is there.
"This club can still have a bright future."
The only question that remains is whether Chambers will be around to play a part in it.