Oleg Petrov (Monaco), after elimination in the Champions League play-offs: “The strategy remains the same”
“How do you analyze the elimination in the play-offs against Chakhtior Donetsk, after a magnificent match on Wednesday (2-2 ap)?
It’s a bit complicated, it’s a big disappointment. If we look at our efforts and our performances, we deserved to qualify for all of the two matches against Chakhtior, who is a sure bet in the Champions League. If there were any doubts about our team, Niko (Kovac, the trainer) and the group have shown that they are capable of evolving at this level and they are beaten to the end. I am proud, we can not blame them, if it is not to have scored more goals. I’m disappointed, but it was a very good match, with very sensitive, aggressive, tight-knit players. It was the true face of AS Monaco, and I hope that this mach will allow us to start our season despite this great disappointment.
Are you worried that it will be difficult to digest?
It’s difficult but it’s sport. Players gain experience and experience. This match will give the team strength to bounce back and grow, once the disappointment has passed. I have no doubt that the team will want to return to Europe.
“We have not planned any major change in the team”
The lack of participation in the Champions League deprives the club of an important source of income. Will this elimination therefore influence your strategy and the end of the transfer window?
I don’t think so because from the start of last season we said that the goal was to qualify for European competitions. The Champions League was our dream but we are satisfied with the Europa League, a European competition. We prepared our transfer window on this basis, and we have not planned any major change in the team. We are focused on sporting success, and the sale of players will be the consequence, not the other way around. We opened a new chapter last season, with the construction of a young group that will continue to improve.
So you would be able to refuse approaches from big clubs for Aurélien Tchouaméni?
We are able to say no. We are building the club with the help of the shareholder. Everyone is strong and stable to have results, and we will improve. The strategy remains the same, with a very clear course to maintain. We are content with the strategy we have chosen. I consider our market to be over, although players can still be loaned. But the elimination doesn’t change anything and I’m happy and proud of the way Niko and the group have competed. “