In an exclusive interview with Goal.com, the Gabonese striker shares his thoughts on his team's brilliant performance this season among other things..Churchill Brothers are lying on top of the I-League table with 38 points from 16 games with their nearest rivals, East Bengal being just two points behind but have played two matches more than the Goan side. Goal.com caught up with Churchill's Henry Antchouet who has been in exceptional form this season as he speaks on several topics ranging from the title race to the influence of Beto in the side.
Churchill Brothers have won 6 out of their last seven games. What has worked for you in this run of good form? What is the team doing different as compared to the start of the season that has resulted in this winning streak?
H: The secret is the unity of the team. 90 percent of the current players have played together for the last one year and a few good players have been added to the squad like Sandip Nandy, Bikramjit Singh, Tomba Singh, Bilal Najjarin and Akram Moghrabi this season. Players from last year are giving in more, and the team has a positive attitude and is working hard each day.
Your thoughts on the next few league games and the title race as a whole? Who will emerge as your main challengers in the remainder of the season?
H: Nothing is decided yet. We are taking it one match at a time. There’s a lot more football to be played. East Bengal, Dempo and Pune FC are good teams and are surely title contenders.
'Beto is a quality player and his creativity is brilliant'
How crucial has captain and midfield maestro Beto been to the team's success both on and off the pitch?
H: He helps bring a certain calmness to the team as he has been playing in India for a long time and his experience is very important. Beto's desire to help the team win is equally vital for the team. He is a quality player who can control the pace of the match and his creativity is brilliant. I must add that he is also a very good friend of mine.
You have scored 9 goals so far this season and some crucial ones at that. How do you feel about your own form and the way you have playing?
H: I surely want to score more and aim to get more goals for my side. However this is my personal ambition and the most important thing is to keep the team's ambition ahead of any individual’s goals. My team comes first.
There has been competition for a starting place between you and Akram Moghrabi. While you are getting more starts now, he was preferred earlier. What would you like to say on the overall competition for places within the team?
H: A healthy competition between players is always good for the team as it helps the team climb higher up the table. All players must give their best and a clean competitive spirit must be present in the dressing room. It is our job to give our best and we play for each other.
What has been the role of Subhash Bhowmick and Mariao Dias in the team’s success?
H: Both of them have good experience in Indian football. They understand how to handle players’ problems and help in keeping the team together as a unit and family. The most important attribute that they help inculcate in the players is discipline.
Your comments on the break in the I-League before the final round of games?
H: I believe if it affects us and will surely affect the other teams too. We shouldn’t think about losing momentum and must use the break to recover from injuries, perfect ourselves and come back stronger.
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