The match: “We know it will be a great match. It will be up to us to put what we need on the field to win. They will play with their supporters, we have a lot of players with a lot of quality and experience. It’s up to us to get off to a good start. If we stay focused, aggressive and concentrated for 90 minutes, we will have chances and we can win the match. (…) We will have to know how to manage the strong times and the weak times.”
Ousmane Dembélé: “He’s a different, extraordinary player. I know him since a long time ; he's a magnificent person, he adapted quickly. He feels very good and is very happy to be here. On the ground, it shows. He can make the difference at any time and we have confidence in him.”
Fitness after his serious injury at the end of 2022: “I didn’t think I would come back with so much confidence. My arrival in Paris, my teammates, the club, the staff, everyone gave me this confidence. On the pitch, after the crosses, you think about the tackles, whether or not to put the leg in... But I feel very good mentally, I am very confident in myself. The warrior Lucas Hernandez is still there on the field.
The atmosphere at St-James Park: “It will be a special match for Newcastle after 20 years without the Champions League. It's up to us to know how to manage this kind of moment, to control the match. We are experienced, we have already experienced this kind of atmosphere. I have experienced hot stadiums in Germany or Spain but when you enter the field, you forget the context. That’s what being mentally strong is: forgetting expectations, what you have around you and giving your all on the pitch.”
Newcastle: “There are four big teams in the group. It's up to us to continue on the right path after starting well against Dortmund. We must continue by winning here tomorrow (Wednesday).”
Left back or central defender: “I arrived as a central or left back, I have this versatility and I have no problem playing in both positions, I am at the service of the coach. I will always give everything. No difference. It’s the same in club as in selection.”
The opinion of his brother Theo, who faced Newcastle with Milan on the first day: “It will be a different match, it was at San Siro, but he told me about a very solid team. They had a lot of chances but it's C1, if you don't put them in, it can get complicated... He spoke to me about fast defensive players on the counterattack. Afterwards, I didn't ask him too much in particular about the Newcastle players.
Comments collected at a press conference