Lens will be deprived of three players this Sunday for the reception of Monaco in the round of 16 of the Coupe de France (9 p.m.). Ignatius Ganago is retained by the CAN with Cameroon, quarter-finalist. Deiver Machado, who trained in an arranged fashion this week, will need an additional week to insert the group. Finally, Wuilker Farinez will start this Friday evening with Venezuela. Jean-Louis Leca, number one bis, will therefore find a starting position in goal against the Rock club.
As for Massadio Haïdara, eliminated with Mali from the Africa Cup on penalties by Equatorial Guinea (0-0, 5-6 on penalties), he is expected this Saturday and will apply for the reception of the Monegasques. “He chained a lot of playing time”welcomes his coach who will have an additional solution on the left side.
“We have to keep faith in ourselves”
After their defeat in L1 against OM (0-2, Saturday), Lens needs to relaunch a dynamic. “Against Marseille, I insisted a lot on staying compact, analyzed Franck Haise. I am the first culprit. We also had to defend while advancing. Afterwards, they led in the score and the scenario gave another match. We have to keep our principles of play even if that can create risks and defensive imbalances. My only regret is not having converted our equalizer balls. I have no other.
OM is in a different category than ours. Our performances made us forget who we were. Eighteen months ago, we were in L2. I am very happy if some people think that we can qualify for the Champions League. We hope one day. But for the moment, on integrated. In progress. Sometimes step by step. We try to move this team forward every day. »
For center-forward Arnaud Kalimuendo, who was ill when receiving Marseille and who has not scored since the end of December, Lens must rely on his character. “The previous round against Lille (auxiliary tab 2-2, 4-3) demonstrated it, he reminds. This gave us a new impetus and we are trying to force it. We must not completely question ourselves either, we have recovered well in 2022 also before the match against Marseille, we must maintain confidence in ourselves. »