“You go to the Parc des Princes on Saturday (9:00 p.m.) to face a PSG which can be crowned champion. How are you approaching this game?
Either way, there’s no question Paris will be champions at some point. We are not going there to postpone the coronation, we are going there to rub shoulders and cause problems for an extremely successful team at home, where it is 18 wins and 1 draw. But we go there to try to play our football.
How do you explain the ongoing streak of 3 wins? It is not trivial to beat Nice (3-0), Lille (2-1) and Montpellier (2-0)…
The series of three victories, that’s quantitative, it’s never obvious, we only did it once at the start of last season. And then there is quality. It was three different matches, with different scenarios, different contexts, but three matches that we tackled well and managed well: Nice after the expulsion of Massadio (Haïdara) after a quarter of an hour; Lille, when they came back to score just before half-time, we remained very solid; and against Montpellier, which was much more compact, dense than it could be at times. And we intelligently built the victory. There is the qualitative that I would like to underline, even if the quantitative is important.
Florian Sotoca (P. Lahalle/The Team)
Florian Sotoca spoke of a rediscovered state of mind. Is that why you defend better?
It all starts with awareness. We can always give leads, make certain things work, but there has to be awareness, and it’s always the players who have it. We are there to adapt, see what the opponent is offering and propose certain solutions. But it is the awareness of the players. To say to yourself that today, when you defend with eleven, either with a fairly high and aggressive block, or with a median block that tries to suck, or sometimes, and we have done it in the last matches, with a low block, it’s difficult for opponents to create chances.
“We have ambition, we always have”
Afterwards, there are adaptations according to individualities, the strengths of the opponents, but that’s every weekend. It is primarily because the players are aware of this need. If we want to be regular, we have to attack well and that, everyone likes to attack, there is no problem. But you obviously have to defend well and when everyone puts themselves at the service of the team, that changes the game.
You are only three points away from the Champions League… Can we talk about that?
(He’s laughing) We allow ourselves to do anything, to make mistakes, to lose matches, to make mistakes, but that does not prevent ambition. The matches, we try to win them, even if it does not mean that we will win them. We have ambition, we always have. Afterwards, we are not going to shout when we are far away, nor are we going to shout more because we have come a little closer with these three victories in a row. We keep working, we’ll see what happens.
You haven’t conceded a goal in 3 of the last 6 matches? Can that be a goal at the Park?
At the Parc, it’s a difficult objective to achieve. If I simply give that as an objective, we will put ourselves in front of our surface and against Paris, it will not pass anyway. The objective is to know how to do Lens, to offer play, to be able from time to time to have times of possession and at the same time verticality. And obviously defend well. But I’m not leaving with this objective, otherwise the evening will be long. »