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Interviews

INTERVIEW: Showing what I can do

25 October 2013

Pascal Chimbonda on not conceding goals

University of Cumbria second year Journalism student Michael Garvey sat down with defender Pascal Chimbonda on Thursday morning to get his take on life with Carlisle United ...

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Former Tottenham defender and France international Pascal Chimbonda is relishing the prospect of a new challenge and a return to professional football at Brunton Park. 

The 34-year old was released by Doncaster Rovers at the end of the 2011-12 season and has endured a frustrating year since, remaining a free agent. 

In that time he has turned out for clubs as such as Tranmere Rovers on trial and even non-league side Market Drayton in a bid to stay fit and win a contract after a proposed move to MLS side Chicago Fire in America fell through. 

When asked how it felt to be back playing again Pascal said: “It’s been a year, it was a dream when I was younger to play football, so to achieve a dream I’ve always wanted is a pleasure for me and I’m happy to give people pleasure when I play on the pitch."
 
The Frenchman signed for Carlisle United on a three-month deal on Friday, following a short trial spell. On signing and his first impressions of the club he said: “I know the manager because I played with him at Wigan so, when he explained the project at the club, I told him I would be fine to help and show what I can do."

Chimbonda made his debut for the Blues on Saturday in the 1-0 defeat at Oldham and also played in the win at MK Dons on Tuesday night. 

When asked about the two games and about how he feels he is settling into the squad he replied: “I am settling quickly but it is just two games and the season is long. I think to lose one but come back with a win is good for us and good for the club." 

He was especially pleased to have kept a clean sheet in the win 1-0 away win over MK Dons: “When you are a defender you always want to not concede a goal. I think we did well on Tuesday and if we keep going like this we should be fine. We just have to take it game by game and see how far we can go."

Chimbonda has predominantly been a right back throughout his career, however Carlisle manager Graham Kavanagh has indicated that he wants the Frenchman to operate as more of a centre back for the club. 

When asked about his preferred position, he said: “At the moment the manager wants me to play centre back, but if I can help at right back or left back it will be no problem for me."

Chimbonda has enjoyed a rather distinguished career, playing in the Premier League with Wigan, Tottenham, where he was part of the squad that won the Carling cup in 2008, as well as Sunderland and Blackburn Rovers. He was named at right back in the PFA team of the year for the Premier League in 2005-06 in his first season in the Premier League alongside players like Chelsea and England captain John Terry and ahead of Manchester United and England defender Gary Neville.

He has also been capped for France and was included in the squad for the 2006 World Cup. Indeed it is being part of the France side that reached the 2006 final, a game that is often remembered for Zinedine Zidane’s infamous head butt and sending off in the final game of his career, that he considers to be the highlight: “To be in the squad for World Cup 2006, even though we didn’t win, is the highlight,” he said of the experience.

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