Chris Chantler on pre-season with United
Midfielder Chris Chantler has impressed again this summer as he prepares to start his first full season with the club following a successful end to the campaign last time round.
And as the pre-season sessions draw to a close ahead of the start of the real action, the eye-catching play maker admitted that he’s more than ready for the Capital One Cup game against Accrington Stanley at the weekend.
He said: “Pre-season has been going for just over a month but it feels longer than that with all the running we’ve been doing. I’m feeling good though and that’s all that matters.
“We always look forward to the friendly games because there is only so much running you can do. That has its place but it doesn’t get you match fit or bring the sharpness back. You need to be playing to do that so you go out there to get on the ball and hopefully stay clear of injury.”
“It’s been particularly good for me because I was injured through most of pre-season last year,” he added. “I was ruled out within a week of starting back last summer and it took me four or five weeks to get over it. It wasn’t good for me at all.
“It’s been a progression for me this year, from the Kendal game through to Middlesbrough, and I’ve really enjoyed being a part of it. The gaffer has used me in midfield for most of it and that’s a position I enjoy. It means I can get on the ball a lot and try to do things from there. Mind you, I’ll play anywhere as long as I’m in the side.”
And with a good start to his Carlisle career already tucked firmly under his belt he admitted that he now faces a big year.
“This season is massive for me,” he said. “It was good to get in the side last season but this is my first full season as a professional where I’ve been directly involved with the first team. I want to kick on and the formation has really suited me so far. It’s given me licence to get on the ball and I think that’s the main strength in my game.
“I think the bit I still need to learn is the defensive side of it. If I am going to play as a holding midfielder then it’ll be important that I do that bit of it right, but I’m picking things up every day and I’m really enjoying it.”
“I feel really settled here now,” he told us. “I think getting into the team and playing well helps with that and they’re a great bunch of lads anyway.
“It’s now a case of us all pushing on, starting with Saturday. It’s a cup game and a real chance for us to progress into the second round to meet some of the bigger teams. It’ll also be good to play in a game which really means something and hopefully we can start off well for everybody.
“All I want for me is to play as many games as I can. If that’s happening then it will mean I’m playing well and that’s all I can hope for.”
United Player subscribers can see a video interview with Chris Chantler later tonight. For more information on United Player, and to subscribe, click HERE.