Chimbonda defends Wigan departure

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Pascal Chimbonda is preparing himself to run a gauntlet of hate when he returns to Wigan, his first Premier League club on Saturday.

Blackburn's French full-back spent a year at Wigan before joining Tottenham but has defended his desire to play for a bigger club. Chimbonda infuriated Wigan by handing in a transfer request at the end of his first season - and he has been booed by fans every time he has played against them since.

Chimbonda said: "Every time I go back to Wigan they boo me. Maybe for them that's normal but for me it's not."

He added: "I spent a good year at Wigan and I did my best on the pitch every game.

"When the opportunity came to go to a club to a different level I couldn't refuse it.

"It was good opportunity to play in Europe and that's why I left Wigan.

"The fans may be upset but if you are ambitious and want to play at the highest level you have to take these opportunities."

Blackburn are in the middle of a spell playing all Chimbonda's previous three clubs - they lost against Tottenham last weekend and Sunderland, where the defender spent an unhappy six months last season, are the opponents on Monday.

Chimbonda added: "We lost against Spurs but I hope we win against my other two previous clubs.

"I had six months at Sunderland, but I did not get me the opportunity to play - that's why I preferred to leave and go somewhere else. Now I just want to put that behind me and play well for Blackburn."

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Tottenham Hotspur
Blackburn Rovers
Premier League
Wigan Athletic
Pascal Chimbonda

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