“AS Monaco, which you face on Saturday, has three more games played than you in the European Cup. What do you think ?
Yes, Monaco played high intensity matches against Sparta Prague (2-0, 3-1) and Chakhtior Donetsk (0-1 loss), it is a chance for them. They have a workforce built for it. I do not question myself too much about their state of form. On a mainly debriefing our match against Saint-Etienne (2-2, last Sunday). We have seen positive things and things we need to improve on. We will prepare for the Monaco match by watching the videos of this team.
Among the positive things are those two goals and 22 shots against ASSE. What are you missing to finalize more and score more?
I repeat: we finished with the sixth attack in Ligue 1 last season. If we have to buy a goalscorer at 20, 30 or 40M €, which is the club’s budget, to score more goals, it’s not going to be easy. I am very happy with what I have. I completely trust my attackers. We shot 22 times against Saint-Etienne, ten times clear and full of situations. Afterwards, yes, if we frame more, it’s better, but we must not forget the two high-quality saves by Etienne Green, the goalkeeper of Saint-Etienne. Without these two superb saves, this question of efficiency would not have arisen.
“I will not budge the system. This is our base. “
What did you think of AS Monaco’s start to the season?
I watched footage from their two games against Sparta Prague (in the Champions League 3rd preliminary round) and saw their other three games (against Nantes, Lorient and Chakhtior). They must not lose these last two games, they have 70% possession of the ball and have only suffered three shots on target in those two games. Monaco remains a flagship team in the Championship, it has results in trompe-l’oeil and Chakhtior Donetsk is a regular in the Champions League. They lost a big game with a hard score, but I’m sure they will win at Chakhtior.
Your team’s play, unlike last year at this stage of the season, is now known to your opponents. How to transform to be less predictable? By modifying your system, for example?
The system doesn’t mean anything. We play three central, in fact, we have been working like that for twenty months and I will not budge from this system. This is our base. But sometimes if you look at defense there are only two defenders, or three or four, it’s the animation that counts.
Kevin Danso, your new central defender, is he ready to start against Monaco?
Yes, he is ready to eventually start.
What did you think of the defensive behavior of the team in the first two games?
We have developed the same qualities and the same faults as last season. And I will add that the faults come from me. On the situation which results in the first goal conceded (against Saint-Etienne), I had asked for certain things, and the conceded goal may be the consequence. I “sit” with them, I am with them when we make mistakes. We have to correct them and we make video for that. And then on one of the young players as well. You have to take the time to learn about the Championship and the team’s defensive principles at the same time. We will make others mistakes and I will take them on with them. “