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INTERVIEW: Work as hard as I can

14 February 2014

Nacho Novo on signing for United

Striker Nacho Novo spoke to us on Thursday morning about his short term contract which keeps him at the club until the end of the season. 

“I think this is a good family club,” he said. “As soon as I arrived here I felt welcome and everybody has helped me out. 

“I've watched two games and I think we have a good team. I'm just really pleased to be here. I watched the Gillingham game last Saturday and although we lost I thought we were the better team. We had more chances than them and we played some good football and I thought we should have won the game. 

“I thought we were fantastic on Tuesday night and we've got some good players here. I hope that win can help us kick on because from what I've seen in training, and in those matches, we don't deserve to be around the bottom of the table.” 

On how the move came about, he said: "I spoke to Tony [Caig] and he invited me to come and train. I really enjoyed it and there is a great bunch of lads in the dressing room. That is one of the most important things when you come to a new club. 

“I spoke to Kav a few times and I'm pleased I've been given the chance to sign. He is a good manager who I'm really looking forward to working with.”

“All I want to do now is get out there and play,” he continued. “I will try to do my best and I am a person who always likes to prove himself. What you have done before has been and gone. It’s in the past. You have to look positively to the future and make sure you prove yourself again. 

“This is a good standard of football in League One so it’s not going to be easy. All I can do is go out there and make sure I work as hard as I can. I’m here to help the team to get as high as we can in the league. That is the main thing for me. 

“I would love to see the team climb up. It’s a good club with good supporters and they deserve that. If we are doing well then everyone will be happy. This move isn’t about Nacho Novo it’s about getting success for the team. That’s what is important.”

“I never focus on myself, only on the team, so I'll do anything I can to help,” he added. “I have got a lot of experience so I'll help the lads as much as I can but, at the end of the day, it's the 18 players who are involved in the games that can make a difference. I'm quite aggressive on the pitch and I'll always try to do my best and fight for the team.  

“I like to help the young players and if I can pass on any experiences then I will. They are the future for the club and I've seen some good young lads during training already. I always tell young players that they can have quality but they must make sure they work as hard as they can every day. With that mentality and the quality they already have they can learn and play at the top level.

“I played against Lee Miller when he was at Falkirk and Aberdeen. He scored against us in a game in 2009, and we lost, and he keeps talking to me about it. Overall there are good lads right through the squad and it’s nice to be part of something like this.”

And on whether he would like to be involved this weekend, he said: “I've always been a fit person and I’ve looked after myself, but I will obviously need match fitness. 

“I seem to pick it up quite quickly because I make sure I keep as fit as I can if I'm not playing. It can be difficult but you need to do that to make sure you're ready to go. I would love to be involved on Saturday. I’m in a situation where all I am thinking about is seeing the ball, feeling the atmosphere and being involved in a competitive game.

“My motivation comes because I love football. When you go through a spell where you can’t play, for any reason, you watch the games on TV and things like that and you realise how much you miss it. I just know that I want to keep playing. 

“That situation happened to me so I came here to train and I gave it my all. I enjoyed being around the boys again because everything about being involved is fantastic. I have looked at this chance as if it was my first club. 

“That’s the mentality I have. It’s what has brought me success because I really do feel that the most important thing for a player is that he has to love football. I still have the hunger because, if I didn’t, I don’t think I would be able to play the game. If you love the game you will enjoy it. If you enjoy it, and work hard all the time, you will have success.”

On his route to Brunton Park, he explained: "The situation at Morton was difficult because we weren't winning games and it was tough for me. I was playing up front by myself and we were losing games. 

“Before that I had spells in Spain and Poland and they were both good experiences for me. I had a chance to stay at Rangers but I wanted to experience playing in Spain. After that I went to Poland and played for Warsaw. I won a trophy there and got the chance to play in Europe again. It was a good experience but it was too cold!”

“I think the main reason I came back over here was for my family,” he confirmed. “They are from Glasgow and they found it hard to settle in Spain. When we spoke about what we were going to do they said that they wanted to come back. I have a little boy so you have to consider schools and all of these things. I’m really pleased that it has worked out for us.

“I did have opportunities to go abroad to Malaysia and Brunei, but my family struggled to settle in Spain so they would have found it really hard over there. It was something to think about but I really wanted to stay over here. 

“The opportunity came up to play for Carlisle and I am very happy about that. I have no regrets at all because my decisions have been made for good reasons. Carlisle have given me this chance and I’m going to work as hard as I can to say thank you for that. 

“I always make sure I take the positives from everything and I've learned things at every club I've played at. I gained a lot of experience about how football is played in other countries and how people think about football. 

“I'm really looking forward to experiencing League One because I haven't played in England before. The good thing for me is that I still feel like I'm 17 or 18 and I love playing football. I really enjoy coming into training every day and having fun with the lads. The most important thing for any football player is to make sure you have that hunger. As long as I have that level of enjoyment then I want to keep playing football.”

United Player subscribers can see a video interview with Nacho Novo now. Click HERE to go to the Player platform. Follow the same link for more information on United Player, and to subscribe.

Click HERE to see a clip from this interview on our YouTube channel. Follow the same link for more FREE content right from the heart of the club.

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