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INTERVIEW: Love being on the pitch

22 January 2014

Pascal Chimbonda on his contract extension

Defender Pascal Chimbonda spoke to us about the contract extension which keeps him at Brunton Park until the end of this season.

"I'm very happy to have everything sorted," he said. "Things have been good between me and Carlisle United and I wanted to show the manager I was loyal to the club, and committed to helping him, by staying until the end of the season. 

"Kav was the one who gave me an opportunity to get back into football so when he told me he wanted me to extend my contract until the end of the season it was an easy decision for me. The first contract was obviously only for three months so I'm happy that I've shown him what I can do and that he now wants me to carry on helping the team."

"There was interest from other clubs but this wasn't a hard decision for me," he confirmed. "Kav gave me the opportunity so I don't see why I can't show some of that loyalty back. I'm not looking any further than the end of the season at the moment. I'm happy to be here and the manager is happy to have me on board.

"I think everybody connected to the club is happy to have me so I'll just carry on trying my best and enjoying my football. Hopefully I can help the team win games and move forward in the league." 

"I don't know how many seasons I've got left, my body will tell me when it's time to stop," he told us. "I feel very good at the moment and I feel I can play many more games. We'll see how I am and how things are going at the end of the season. I did have a problem with my calf but I think that's normal after being out of the game for a year like I was. I think my fitness is improving game by game. I feel comfortable with my body and hopefully I can stay fit for the rest of the season." 

"It is important to be happy when you're playing," he said. "I think every footballer is happy when they're on the pitch and I'm very happy to be involved with this squad. The lads are great people and it's a family team. When I came here they all opened their arms for me and I want to repay that as much as I can."

On recent form, he said: "I think we've been on the end of some bad luck in recent games but we'll keep working and stick together. We know it can be difficult to get out of this type of situation but it will come for us if we keep working hard. It's not an emergency yet, because we aren't in the bottom four, but we know we need to start winning games. I think if we get one win we'll be able to go on another run. 

"The goal we conceded just before half time on Saturday was a gift and I think we have to learn from that. We have to learn every game because nothing comes easy. I'm sure that if we stick together and keep working hard then we'll get the winning mentality back. 

"The players are all confident that we can start winning games. Nobody wants to be at the bottom of the table so we want to make sure we're looking up rather than down for the rest of the season."

"League One is a very physical league," he commented. "There are some very good footballing teams and some teams who are very physical. You have to adapt your game and adapt your football depending on who you're playing. It's a hard league because every team wants to get promoted into the Championship. I think it's a good experience for the young players, and even for me, because I'm not too old to learn." 

"I think my form is improving every week," he added. "I've got used to the league and how our team plays so I think the experience can only be good for me in the future. We are going through a difficult period but I think the manager is dealing with it well. Like I say, if we stick together and do everything the manager asks then I'm sure we'll start winning games again. 

"Sometimes after you lose a game it can be good to have a game straight afterwards to put it right, but we haven't got that. We would prefer to play on Saturday and get three points but it gives us time on the training pitch to work hard. It's good that the game on Tuesday is at home because we can show the fans that we can perform well. Hopefully we'll be able to get our confidence up and get the three points so we can start our season in 2014. 

"I think the lads do have the right mindset to get us out of this situation. Kav is a new manager who is having a difficult time and I've said to the lads that it's up to us to help him get out of it. The senior players are important because we have to keep the young lads motivated and in the right frame of mind. Only 11 players can start but in football everything happens very quickly. The same 11 players can't play every week so the others have to be ready. When Pottsy [Brad Potts] was playing right back I told him to keep me out of the starting line up for as long as he could because that would mean that he was performing well, and that is good for the team." 

"Right back is where I started my career and I do like playing there," he said. "The manager must like me playing in that position, because he's using me there, but I will do my best in any position he asks me to play. Everybody can keep learning so I'll keep working hard to try and improve. The more I learn the happier I am."

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