Reunion with Brest: “The advantage of playing this team twice in such a short time is that we know the difficulties we are going to encounter. We know that if we don't press, it will be hard to take the ball from them, but it's hard to press them because they play long and if you don't press, they play short and you don't take the ball from them. ball. In addition, they defend very well. They are one of the best teams in the championship, that's why they are third. It's a difficult Coupe de France match, we will have to be better with and without the ball compared to the last confrontation in order to bring the match to our field. In the two matches against them this season, we led by two goals at one point. And we could have lost both matches (3-2 victory in the first leg, 2-2 in the return, Editor's note). It’s a very difficult match.”
PSG's difficulties in cup matches, whether in the Coupe de France or in C1: “If we have the weapons to do better? Yes, without a doubt. They are different competitions. In the championship, it’s consistency. In the cup, they are finals every time. In the Champions League there are more opportunities to pass if you deserve it, with two matches per round. In any case, we have all the qualities to be efficient.”
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The competition is quite strong (or not) in view of the C1: “I look at what has been happening since the start of the season, we are aware that we can improve in certain aspects. But time will tell where we will go. Today I can only say positive things. We are leader in the championship with eight points ahead of second. there are good level opponents, Lille, Lens, Brest, Monaco, Nice which is having an exceptional season. It's a much more difficult championship than I thought. What we're doing as a team, I'm happy. I always hope that my team will improve throughout the season but it's also normal that there are ups and downs, like every team in the world. It depends on whether you want to see the glass half full or half empty. As a coach, I see him more than full.”
Establish a good dynamic before the C1: “There are so many matches… The dynamic cannot be better, in terms of results and level of play, in addition to certain circumstances which I am not going to comment on and which have consequences on the team, which nevertheless continues to have results. We want to be better, even more efficient. Tomorrow (Wednesday), it's a decisive match, we advance or we are eliminated. I want to win as many trophies as possible and that’s why it’s a final.”
Individual physical trainers: “Players have been calling on physical trainers, osteopaths, physiotherapists and nutritionists for a long time to prepare individually. If it’s coordinated (with the club), it’s a good thing. The players have become more and more professional over the last 10 years or when I was playing, I would have liked to have all that. The club has a vision of life to behave professionally. But the vast majority of them have a chef for the kitchen at home. They have all the advantages.” (some players complain about the physical preparation of the staff according to L’Équipe, hence the use of individual trainers, Editor’s note)
Play it against: “Demeaning? We are the team which has the most possession (in the league), it also seems to me the second in the Champions League and in a complicated group, it is Manchester City which is in front. Everyone sees things in their own way. We have the ball. We are much stronger when we have the ball. This does not mean that during a match or a phase in a match, the opponent cannot have the ball more than us. But the statistics are there. In C1, we are the team which generates the most chances and against which there are the fewest. Anyone who doesn't like statistics shouldn't look at them. (…) (on the style of play and the multiple balls exchanged between the centrals) The idea of the game is always evolving. The players who touch the ball the most are the center backs. Depending on the opponent's pressure, the players who touch the ball the most can be the full-backs... It depends on the opponent, where the spaces are. Our game idea is very clear. The results reflect this, as do the content of the matches. I have no doubts about the way the team plays but that doesn't mean the opponent can't play better than us. There is an opponent. It happened in the championship and in C1. Afterwards, what people like more or less doesn't interest me much, I want my team to play the way I like.
The km covered: “We look for the details… My teams play possession so that the opponent runs. It's normal that you run less than the opponent because if you have possession and you circulate the ball adequately, the opponent will run more than you. I have nothing else to say. None of my teams, in my entire coaching career, have covered enough km to win. The rest are somewhat empty reflections…”
Management before the C1: “If I see a player who is not 100%, he does not play. This is the message that I send to the players, the way I want them to experience this profession. I can't think about the next match. There's only Brest, it's a final and all the players must be 100%, otherwise they won't be in the team. We didn't do it against Revel or Orléans and it won't happen against Brest, who we know is one of the best teams in the championship. It's a goal for them. There is no match more important than Brest, but if it were to happen, my decisions would be very clear.
Comments collected at a press conference