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Monaco (AFP) – “I like this pressure”: Philippe Clement, the new Monaco coach announced on Wednesday by the Monaco club, knows that he will have to perform very well to achieve the objectives of his management.
“Coaching remains a passion,” said Philippe Clement, who signed a two-and-a-half-year contract with Monaco with the aim of qualifying the team for the next Champions League.
“The pressure? I returned to Genk with Brugge, he stressed. Then we managed to be, for the first time in 130 years in the club’s history, Belgian champions twice in a row with Club Brugge! C “It’s pressure! I like this pressure!” he added during a press conference at the La Turbie performance center, on the heights of the Principality.
Arrived from Bruges with three assistants, Frédéric De Boever, goalkeeper coach, Jonas Ivens, physical preparation specialist, and Johan Van Rumst, who, like him, signed a contract until June 2024, Clement said he wanted to adapt to the Monegasque group. Moreover, Damien Perrinelle, already present in the previous coaching, complete that of Clément.
“You always have to adapt to the qualities of the players, he explained. But I want a dominant team, with commitment and a lot of desire. Even if sometimes the opponent is stronger and you have to be smarter.”
“Create a family”
If Clement enjoys leading a team “from one of the top five championships in the world”, he predicted “a period of adaptation, to understand the men behind the players”.
But he also assured to know Monaco and the L1, of which he “met Paris SG twice in the Champions League” (1-1, 4-1 this fall). And above all recognized that his “strength, the years spent with different clubs”, have been the human relationship with the players. “To create a family, even if the players are more individualistic than ten or twenty years ago,” he summed up.
Present alongside their new coach at a press conference, Paul Mitchell, English sporting director of Monaco, and Oleg Petrov, Russian vice-president and general manager, justified the arrival of Clement and the ousting of Niko Kovac, to whom they paid tribute, by a desire to “enter a new phase” of their project.
“The results were not in line with the potential, the ambition and the objectives planned this summer, said Mitchell. We analyzed the situation well and, with the main shareholder (Dmitri Rybolovlev, Editor’s note), we decided to change. To continue our progress and achieve our objectives. “
The Champions League preliminary round elimination against Shakhtar Donetsk was a pivotal moment. But not only.
“When the train passes …”
“We have to show the greatest respect for the work of Niko (Kovac) who laid the foundations, continued Mitchell. But we kept our players and better this summer. After our start to 2021, we are strong from the first match this season. Or, we have never been in the Top 5 of Ligue 1. We want to be the rival of the favorite. We are 17 points (from Paris SG, Editor’s note), that’s too much! “
Was this the perfect time to change coaches, however? “It is never the right time”, played down Clément, who does not understand “to leave Bruges”. But “when the train passes, you have to take it,” he said.
Monaco, who travels to Nantes on Sunday, is currently 6th in L1 four points from Nice, runner-up to PSG, but also qualified in the 8th finals of the Europa League and the Coupe de France.
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