The coach from Montpellier will play his first official match at the head of ASSE this Saturday evening in Dijon. After an exceptional season last year, Ghislain Printant is determined to continue this momentum in the 2019-2020 season.
Is your team ready for the match Saturday evening?
I’ll make sure that the team is even if, objectively, we need more team for that to totally be the case. With the arrival of Denis Bouanga and that of Ryad Boudebouz, 50% of the offensive sector was modified. Despite everything, I want us to be ready, starting Sunday, to face our adversary on the field.
Have you determined some goals for the upcoming season?
We have to be ambitious and realistic at the same time. Ambitious because we’re getting ready to play in the European Cup, which is something important for ASSE, hence our desire to be competitive in terms of quality and quantity. And realistic because many teams delivered poor performances last season. We’ve finished last season’s chapter. The things that were done, and well done, are behind us. It’s now up to us to write a new chapter in AS Saint-Étienne’s history book.
You’re going to make three trips for the first four matches of the season. Is this a difficult schedule?
That doesn’t worry me, those are the risks of the schedule. Beginning with the trips to Lille and Marseille, that’s not easy, that’s certain. Before that, we’ll have to take care of Dijon. Our schedule can seem like an obstacle but it’s up to us to ensure our success by how we play on the field.
What is your opinion of the recruitment of Ryad Boudebouz who you’ve known in Bastia and Montpellier?
Ryad wanted to return to Ligue 1. He has both some characteristics that are identical to and different from those of Rémy Cabella, that’s the charm of Football. Ryad will need time to regain his abilities, for his instincts to return. But he’s a smart player, which makes him capable of adapting to several game strategies.
What do you retain from the preparation matches?
I didn’t focus on the results. Certain players were getting to know the team and the top level at the same time, but they’ve responded well to my expectations. I really liked the duo of Wesley Fofana and Harold Moukoudi. This experimental phase was interesting, the youths behaved well during the preparation.
What do you think of Dijon FCO, your first adversary of the season?
On their home turf, Dijon is going to mark their territory. We followed their friendly matches, we saw that their game philosophy had changed. They want to lean on their game and speed. It’s up to us to respond to this issue but what interests me is that we’re going to be capable of doing this with players that are not completely ready physically. Advancing together with a common game philosophy, that’s my leitmotif.