Three days before the Derby, frustration is still perceptible in the tone of the declarations of the Stéphanois coach who is delighted that the calendar gives him a match against Nîmes tomorrow.
In what state of mind are you after the Derby?
The frustration is always there. Luckily we have an important week with a Coupe de la Ligue match tomorrow and a second match against Nantes that will allow us to let all of our players participate after this disappointing outcome. To have to play this upcoming Friday bothers me a little. I would have preferred to have another day to rest but we’ll adapt.
Did your players come to terms with the disappointment to have lost the Derby?
It’s normal that the players are affected. When you have the feeling that you did what you had to and that you came so close to what you were striving for, it’s completely normal that you feel frustrated. Everything that we expected in regards of this match went perfectly. We cut off their best players and we had opportunities to counter them but we still had the most difficult thing to do: scoring goals. For three quarters of the match, we dominated. We had a weak period of 20 minutes during which we should have been more solid so that we didn’t concede a goal because the reality is that Lyon only lined up one shot and scored with that shot. Honestly, I would preferred to have lost due to the exploit of a single talented player than due to a dead ball situation. We weren’t far from achieving a feat that would have pleased the entire Green Nation.
Did you feel an ease in the tension in the atmosphere that permeates the Derby?
Within my capacity, I have always been very zen in my declarations to dedramatize a situation because I don’t like when these situations provoke violence. In regards of the ambiance at the stadium, I find that it’s 10 times better. The Lyonnais whistled at their players because the score was 0-0 at half time. I prefer the ambiance at the Geoffroy-Guichard stadium 100%.
What importance do you accord to the Coupe de la Ligue?
You have to dream of something. At the start of a competition, you have to tell yourself that you can see things through. Personally, I have a few times and I can tell you that it’s always a pleasure. To get there, you have to play to win every match.
What type of team from Nîmes are you expecting to confront?
I don’t know what team Nîmes will field but I think that the championship is essential for the club. Nîmes took three important points Saturday and is going to welcome Amiens to their stadium after our Coupe de la Ligue match. Bernard Blaquart knows that it’s in these types of matches that you maintain your Ligue 1 status. As I said before our first trip, we’ll surely have an atmosphere like that of a bull-fighting arena that will make the players surpass themselves and push them until the final whistle. It’s because of that that Nîmes worries many teams especially on their home turf. They have a great desire to win, much generosity but also much talent. In a team that gives everything they have, there are three or four players that keep the team going and all the other players put themselves at the service of the team.
Are you going to let certain players rest when you face Nîmes Olympique?
I’m going to take stock of the situation with the doctor because all the players who participated in the Derby are fatigued. What I have to think about is that I have to take into account the physical condition of every player. I also have to keep in mind the players who are suspended in regards of the upcoming matches. The team needs fresh blood but we must maintain a backbone strong enough in order to qualify. Since I know Nîmes well, I know that his meeting will be a real Cup match. No one is going to stop and think, they’re going to play and us as well. That will maybe create a crazy match.