Claude Puel : "Play at our best level"
Determined to lead his players to the final of the Coupe de France, the General Manager knows that a qualification will be earned with a successful start against Stade Rennais.
How do you explain the difficulties that your team has experienced during the beginning of matches?
It’s difficult to explain. A successful start is essential to mark your territory and gain confidence. Lyon was not very resourceful during the first ten minutes, but since we were not aggressive enough we suffered and our adversary was able to impose their game. We must start in the best manner the game. Our recent trips show that this is a problem to solve. We must carry on regardless and take advantage of the support of our fans in order to change course against Rennes.
What does a Coupe de France semi-final represent?
What interests me, is that we give ourselves the means to win. I do not want to speculate on what this match represents. The matches, you have to play them! We must remain concentrated on our output, not on the consequences of a match. There is not any projection to make beyond the components we will have to put in place in order to win this match. The Coupe de France is obviously an objective. How could we say the opposite the day before playing a semi-final. We have to play at our best level. We are capable of doing good things in sequences. From now on, we have to do so over the course of an entire match.
What is your opinion of Stade Rennais?
We revived Rennes when we played there. I hope that Rennes will in turn revive us. It’s a competitive team, capable of imposing their game and counter-attack. Despite everything, the end of the match depends on us, that’s my credo. Sunday, we were able to do good things against Lyon. My works consists of allowing my players to relax and give it their all.
Mahdi Camara preceded you in the press room. How do you judge his contribution to the team?
Few people were counting on him. When I arrived, I discovered a player with great physical skills and a great mindset, someone that gives their all. He has progressed a lot by simplifying his game. In regards of his base qualities, he has evolved and improved a lot. He’s a reliable person, with a club spirit.