“You arrive at a club where the coaches have very little time to succeed. How do you see this pressure?
I never think about that. I always think about winning the next game, creating an atmosphere, with ambitious players who shouldn’t be afraid of losing. I always want to win everything even if unfortunately it is not possible. You have to do everything every day to be as strong as possible. In Brugge, the pressure was also there because, in all its history, the club had only been twice champion two years in a row. I really like pressure like that because it’s not negative, it pushes people to win. It’s an interesting environment, which I like.
“When the train passes, you have to take it”
How do you analyze your new team?
I haven’t had much time to analyze Monaco’s matches because the last few days have been very hectic, but we started talking and I already have a first impression. Even though he is currently injured, I have a former Brugge player here (Krepin Diatta). It’s always normal to need some time to get to know the players. You watch the game, but you don’t know the people behind the players, and we’re gonna start this today (this Wednesday). It’s not easy with the Covid (seven players are positive) but it’s the same for everyone and I know the Championship because we played against Paris-SG in the Champions League. The L1 is very physical, with a lot of commitment, it has a lot in common with Belgium but the level is higher.
You left Bruges during the season, when the results were less good. Was it the perfect time to leave?
We always think of the perfect moment, we always have things like that in our heads and it never happens. You can have a road in your head for the future, and you never take that road afterwards. I didn’t think I would leave Bruges now, but it’s always the circumstances that decide, and the projects that come up. It’s been a very long time since a Belgian coach left directly for France. The previous one was Raymond Goethals, and he is a very good example. When the train passes, you have to take it.
How do you describe your playing principles?
You always have to adapt to the qualities of the players, these are my ideas but I always want to have a dominant team, which plays with a lot of commitment and desire. I used different systems but always with the idea of being dominant, whether in the Championship or in the European Cup.
It is said that your management is softer than that of Kovac. What relationship do you have with your players?
I want to create a family, that everyone has the same thing in mind, even if the mindset of the players has become more individualistic. This has always been our strength, last year and with my various teams. »