Frustrated by his team’s last match, the Verts’ coach is counting on a more consistent and motivated team to win against Nantes, this Friday (8:45 pm), at the Geoffroy-Guichard stadium.
How do you explain the below average performance of the Verts in Nîmes?
There are many factors: the lack of comfort of players who haven’t played a lot together in a stadium that they’re not familiar with. If our first period was very bad it wasn’t because of a lack of cohesion, it was rather due to a lack of desire to win. No one wanted the ball, we were only giving way, and opposite us, Nîmes was more motivated to win. At half time, I tore a strip off the players and then I had the players that I had expected to be able to let rest step onto the field but that wasn’t sufficient. For the young players that I played, it’s something they must go through, that’s one of the errors that must make players progress. Right now, what’s done is done. What’s important to me right now is playing once again in our stadium and to renew ourselves with victory.
What do you need to get your mojo back?
The key is victory. Before Nîmes, we were making progress. Against Angers, the state of mind was there, against Reims we were efficient and had technical control and, for the Derby, we did what was necessary in order to leave Lyon with a very positive outcome. After which, we moved on to something else. We’re going to face Nantes who has become a difficult adversary since Coach Vahid took on his duties. He surely had to implement discipline and make tough decisions by having combatants play because he likes the players who give it their all. Since then they’ve been solid and tough. They’re in the process of moving up in the rankings but we have to win this match on our home turf.
What is your method of motivating your team?
I have to yell a bit more than expected and repeat the same things, it’s a bit tiring, sometimes, so I don’t speak much to the players to make them understand that I’m mad when the team doesn’t play. Nothing is greater than giving everything you have in a Football match and, on the other hand, nothing is more terrible than being beaten by a more motivated adversary. We have to be more consistent in the game but it isn’t because I’m unhappy that I’m worried. We’re in sixth place, we’re close to third place..
What do you fear about the arrival of FC Nantes and that of their striker, Emiliano Sala?
He’s the only player who has scored 11 goals with Mbappé. This is one of Nantes’ strengths and today his mentor is Vahid Halilhodzic who was a great striker. He’s going to give him advice that will push him even farther. Tomorrow (Friday), he will represent the greatest danger for us, because managing to score 11 goals with FC Nantes, that’s not a trivial thing.