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Interviews

INTERVIEW: The motivation is still there

18 October 2013

Pascal Chimbonda on signing for Carlisle United

We spoke to Pascal Chimbonda shortly after he had signed his three month contract with the club on Friday morning.

"It feels very good to be involved in football again," he said. "I told Kav I'd be ready for the challenge of playing in League One. He obviously knows me, because we've played together before, so he asked me to come and train first. He was happy with what he saw and he asked me to stay. Obviously I said yes.

"When I saw that Kav had been given the job here I thought it was worth giving him a ring to see if we could help each other out. When Kav played he always gave everything in every game he played so I want to come here and do that for him. He's very similar as a manager to what he was as a player - the haircut certainly hasn't changed! 

"The only difference is that now I respect him as a manager rather than a player. I take on board everything he says on the training pitch but we can still have a joke after training. 

"I'm really looking forward to repaying his belief in me with some good performances. I'm going to take each game as it comes and see how things are going before I start looking into the future."

"It has been very difficult to be out of football," he admitted. "It's hard to watch on a Saturday and not be involved. Even though it took me a year I always believed I would be able to get back into football, so I'm really grateful Kav has given me this chance. My family have supported me throughout my whole career and I owe a lot to them. I'm really excited to be on the pitch on a Saturday again. 

"I haven't played in over a year but I've been training very hard every day. My ability is definitely still there so I feel ready to play. I want to get back playing, and not so I can show people what I'm about, because they already know, but so I can prove to myself that I was right to keep believing in myself." 

"Running out on a Saturday and being part of something is the thing I've missed the most," he continued. "When I first came into training all of the lads were very welcoming and I will do everything I can to help them. There's a lot of young lads in the dressing room so I'd be happy to give them any advice they wanted and things like that. 

"I've never played in League One but I know it's a tough league where everybody is battling for results. We haven't lost for five games now and we all want to keep that run going for as long as we possibly can. 

"The fact that I've played in the Premier League doesn't count for anything now because we're all playing in this division. We're all in the same situation and we all want to do well for Kav and the club. I think Kav wants me to mainly play at centre back but I will play anywhere he asks me to."

"When you're young you always dream about playing at the highest level," he admitted. "Being involved in a World Cup final is fantastic, but if somebody had told me that was going to happen twenty years ago I would have told them it wouldn't. It's something I will never forget because training with the likes of Zidane and Ribery is out of this world."

"The motivation to play is definitely still there," he insisted. "Some players might lose that or they might not be able to carry on because of their body, but I still feel fit and ready to play. I love playing football and I never want to stop. 

"I'll do everything I can to help the team get to where the fans want them to be. Hopefully if I can make the team better and help to carry on the results that we've been getting. If that happens then the fans will love me."

And on the belief needed to keep things going through a difficult year out of the game, he said: "Everybody has to believe in themselves. I have a great family and two children and they give me the power to achieve what I want to do. 

"I didn't think about doing something else because I always believed that I was good enough to play football. I knew this day would come because I kept believing. I think that is very important.

"It has been great to be training again. I've missed being involved with the lads in a dressing room. I can't wait to be involved in a game again so I'm really looking forward to going to Oldham."

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