In the fight for European qualification, Fenix receives Nîmes which aims for the same thing. Pierrick Chelle, the Toulouse captain, plans a “real derby as we like them”.
Pierrick, your team remains on two defeats in its last three league games. How do you explain this detrimental slack in the home straight?
Since our elimination in the European League against Benfica Lisbon (30-36 on April 5 in the round of 16 second leg, editor’s note) we lack a bit of freshness, physical and mental. It’s not an excuse because all the teams are in this case but it shows in our performance. Our defeat at Saint-Raphaël (30-33), in the last league match, is really regrettable because we got all wrong there.
How to reverse the trend when a derby is looming which is worth expensive between two teams which aim for a European qualification?
We have the cursors a little in the red but we favor freshness by working mainly tactically. This match is a priority, for them as for us, and the result will be essential for the future. So we have to let go and give everything we have left!
You will face a team which since its change of coach won its five matches. Worried ?
This change of coach (Yann Balmossière succeeded Franck Maurice at the end of March, editor’s note) had the effect of an electric shock, yes. They have a big squad but the results didn’t follow and when the coach pays for it, there is often a form of responsibility that falls on the players. They found themselves in the state of mind, the duels: everything that has always been the strength of Nîmes. We know what to expect in terms of intensity and combat. It could be a bit hot, a real derby as we like them (he smiles).
At home, you haven’t lost in the league since October. Do you think you can draw additional energy from it?
It’s a series that we have in mind. We feel good at home but against Nîmes it is not enough to say that we are at home. To get to know the guys opposite, I know that they come to fight and to kill us (he smiles).