Xavier back in familiar zone

Churchill midfielder keen to impress against former side

“Yeah it feels really weird. I’m back in Bangalore and will be playing for a different club and HASC are my opponents now!” Xavier, who signed a lucrative two-year contract with Churchill Brothers to move to Goa, told Deccan Herald.

“I just want to come out on Sunday and, if I get a chance, score for my team or at the very least create one.

“I don’t know what to expect from the crowd. What sort of reaction they will have towards me, playing for a different club.

“We will just have to wait and watch,” he added referring to his expectations from the fans when his side faces HASC in an I-League match on Sunday afternoon.

Xavier, while playing for the Aircraftmen, was the go-to guy, the star that everyone looked to when the team needed something special on the pitch. But after signing for the Goan giants, the midfielder has found playing time tough to come by.

“I’m not too worried about that. I knew before I signed for the club that it was going to be hard for me to get a regular place in the team. I was aware that I will have to fight hard to get match time,” the soft-spoken Xavier remarked. “We have such a big team with several India internationals as well as quality foreigners, so I’m happy for now to bide my time and wait for my opportunity.

“I feel like I need three-four months to understand the tactics of the club, the different style, the different thinking. Once I get there, I’m confident of playing a big part,” he added.

Xavier also had a world of praise for new Portuguese coach Manuel Gomes. “The coach is really good, very professional. He has a very good idea about what he needs from the players and communicates that very well.

“It is completely different from what we have in HASC. The whole mindset is different. It is much more professional here. We play one-touch, two-touch kind of passing game here and the quality is much higher,” he observed.

“I almost wish I had moved a little earlier in my career, because these two months have made me a much better player already,” the 32-year old added with a smile.

When asked about how he has settled in Goa, he said: “I’m doing ok now. I found it hard the first couple of weeks, I was missing my family.

“But now I have settled and my mother visits quite often, so I’m feeling at home now,” he
added.

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