Frustrated by having seen his team fail against Nîmes in the Coupe de la Ligue, the Stéphanois coach is eager to return to the Cauldron where the Verts perform better than in an adversary’s stadium.
How do you judge the performance of your team?
I had decided to change my lineup in order to give playing time to certain players but we had a catastrophic first period. In the second period, with the changes, we dominated the game, we scored a goal and we had two or three openings to bend the game to our will but we still have the same problem. Even with four or five offensive players, we didn’t manage to truly turn the game in our favour. So we weren’t protected from a tie at the last second.
What did you think of the players that began the game?
I know that that was difficult for the players that I put in the starting lineup. They had an enormous weight on their shoulders. They are young players who had the feeling of playing the match of their lives, but I was expecting a bit more confidence from them. We panicked too much, gave way too much and, didn’t play in the first period. The match finished with the same score as that of the championship (1-1). Then, when you take shots on net, you have a one in two chance of winning. Nîmes was more cold-blooded than us.
Are you satisfied with the contribution of the substitue players?
I had planned to have Ole Selnaes take the field around the 60th minute mark with Wahbi Khazri and Rémy Cabella but Assane Diousse got a yellow card at the 5th minute and didn’t manage to link his passing movements. He was no longer playing his game. As soon as Selnaes, Khazri and Cabella took the field, we saw the difference. So it’s much more infuriating to see Nîmes tie the game at the last minute.
How will you handle Nîmes match in the Cauldron this Friday?
We have the advantage of playing on our home turf. In the Geoffroy-Guichard stadium, we earned 5 victories and tied 2 games. It’s on our home turf that we manage to be ourselves. As an away team, we have lulls, absences, we take a step backwards like we did in Lyon. Today, we scored and we took a step backwards. In four days, we’ve experienced two identical situations. We could have won but we conceded a goal. We’ll have to remedy that Friday at the Cauldron.