Claude Puel : "Twice as much motivation"
The General Manager of ASSE reminds us of the importance of a Derby for the club and for his environment. He affirms that his teams will demonstrate who to concentrate on their game and “fight” in order to make things as difficult as possible for their adversary.
The first leg derby was your first match at the head of ASSE and you responded to this challenge perfectly. Will the same type of challenge present itself this weekend?
The conditions are not the same. It’s a different match we must understand. On the one hand, we will travel without our fans. On the other hand, Lyon changed their coach and just played a Ligue des Champions match against Juventus Turin (1-0).
Precisely, what did you learned from your opponent’s last match?
Lyon played a good match by relying on a large, defensive block. Their strategy obliged Juventus to attack but they did not manage to find a solution to win. Lyon will be able to deploy the same system during the second leg match by attempting to exploit the slightest counter attack.
Is a derby equivalent to a Champions League match?
It’s a separate game. You think that they’re going to relax against us after their victory against la Juve? Non! A derby is still a derby.
What are you strengths?
We know the importance of such a match for your fans but also for the players. Certain players were trained at the club and it’s certainly something special for them. We will have twice as much motivation. It will be a good match to play. On a personal level, I have to detach myself from the context in order to remain clear-headed and accompany my team so that it manoeuvres well. You have to make it so the details of a match turn in our favour unlike at our last match against Reims. Our last training sessions ran like clockwork. The players enjoyed it. It’s not by lowering your head that we’ll get by. They’re concentrated, receptive and ready. The derby is an important match that we must tackle with conviction and lucidity. Against Reims, we demonstrated a good mindset but we were not rewarded for this.
Do your players need to be reassured before such a match?
In our situation, the essential thing is to be armed mentally in order to fight, restart a new positive cycle and climb in the rankings. We cannot focus on the eventual consequences of a defeat or on the “what ifs”. We must on the contrary concentrate on our game. Of course, we’re conscious of the situation but a derby remains a separate match. The wait is exceptional and healthy. Every team forgets where they are in the rankings. We remained frustrated during our last match against Reims because we performed good plays. We’re going to continue this momentum to make problems for them and more than problems.