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INTERVIEW: Good to be back

11 April 2014

Pascal Chimbonda on his return to the team

Defender Pascal Chimbonda spoke to us about his winning return to the team against Swindon last Saturday. 

"It was good to be back in the team last weekend," he said. "We got a win and I thought we played well. The best feeling after missing three games is to get three points. 

"Every player wants to be on the pitch with the lads so I was frustrated when I wasn't able to play. I'm happy to be back out there and hopefully I can stay there until the end of the season now." 

But his preference for playing football brought what manager Graham Kavanagh described as a few 'heart stopping moments' as the Cumbrians held onto their lead through the last 15 minutes of the Swindon game.

"The manager knows me and I think he knows I can keep the ball," he told us. "I think he wanted me to kick the ball away a few times on Saturday. I think he was frustrated with me but he wasn't worried. 

"I like to play football so I don't like to just kick the ball out all the time. We were winning 1-0 so it was important for us to keep the ball. I tried to do that and I enjoyed it.

"The win on Saturday was huge for the dressing room because, after two draws, we all really wanted to get three points. It was important that we got the win for our fans at home and hopefully we can do it again at Preston on Saturday."

"There's no reason why that won't be the case because we've been playing well," he said. "I think everyone has seen that and we just haven't been scoring goals. One goal was enough on Saturday to get the three points and now we just need to move onto the next game."

And on his preferred position, he added: "If the manager wants me to play right back, I will. If he wants me to play centre back, I will. I would even play as a striker if he asked me to. The most important thing is to be on the pitch and to help my team mates win the game. 

"When I play at centre back Kav always tells me to make the team play football, which is what I try to do. I also try and help the young lads improve their game. At the moment I feel like I'm doing that well and hopefully I can carry that on until the end of the season. 

"Dave Symington is a young player full of potential and I try and talk to him all of the time. When you're young you switch off easily but I think he's learning every day, and he'll be a very good player."

On the trip to Preston on Saturday, he said: "I've played in a lot of derbies throughout my career and this one should be enjoyable. I beat Arsenal when I was at Spurs and it does give everyone a huge boost.

"We have to focus on not losing the game and try to bring something home for the fans. Beating Preston at their own ground would be great for the whole club. Anything can happen over 90 minutes but I think the most important thing for us is to not lose the game."

"We're fighting for points at the moment and I've been in a relegation battle in France, so it is something I've experienced before," he explained. "We've got six games left, so we've got six cup finals, and we'll be trying to win every one of them. After two draws and a win it would be good to keep that momentum going and keep another clean sheet on Saturday. 

"I think everyone believes that we can stay in this league. The players, the manager and the supporters all think we can do it and I think it will be a good achievement if we do. If we can do that then we can go into next season and try and push up the league. 

"The young guys have been playing well but I think it has helped that some of the experienced players have came back into the team. I have experience, but I'm just a player like everyone else. It's good to have experienced players on the pitch but I think we need some legs too!"

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