Satisfied with the outcome of the game and the team’s state of mind, the coach judges his team to be off to a successful start
What did you think about the match?
The match took place exactly how we thought it would: we started strong and were efficient. We did this by scoring two goals quickly. Then, we were never outmanoeuvred technically and we were always concentrated. It was a good cup match for us.
Were you happy to not have fallen into the trap that this type of match represents?
When you see amateur clubs eliminate professionals, it brings up bad memories for players and coaches. So I put the team on guard and insisted on the state of mind that they had to demonstrate. We had to be very serious and concentrated to put ourselves back into a competitive state after a 15-day break and that’s what the players did.
Is this an ideal start for 2019?
Yes, it’s a good start. We scored goals and we didn’t let any in. The strikers scored and I’m happy to have seen Loïc Perrin headbutt a goal in because I’ve been waiting for that for a year (smile), I’m very happy for him. There were a lot of positive things in this match. It was very important to start off the year right. When you have a good momentum going and when you have important matches to play, you have to really prepare yourself physically and this evening that’s what we did. We had the players who were in a preparation period, those who were in trouble due to cards, rest and we gave the youths their shots, it’s a good day. I hope now that we can recuperate our injured players because we need to reform our professional team. During the last two months, we often let youths like Saliba or Nordin start who have maintained their worth but we’ll all be happy to get our regular starting players back.
Are you satisfied with the start of the youths that the club is currently training?
It was exactly the type of match needed to give them their shot. Rocha and Chambost have been doing work with us but we had never had the possibility of giving them playing time. Today (Sunday), since we were ahead, it was easier.
The match was marked by a great fraternity between the two teams. Is that also satisfying?
Strasbourg gave us a really warm welcome and the match took place in a great atmosphere. The coach and the president were both happy to see us and, at the end of the match, all the players were happy to have been able to exchange their jerseys with professionals like Khazri, M'Vila and Cabella. That’s how I see Football. I began in la Paillade, so I’m familiar with the amateur environment. We respected our adversaries and that’s the greatest compliment that a professional can give. Because for them, playing in the round of 64 in la Meinau against AS Saint-Étienne is a fantastic day that will always remained engraved in their memory. At the end of the match, I congratulated the coach on his journey because it’s not ordinary to make it to the round of 64. He told me that he was happy, that he felt respected because we showed him the difference between the amateur sphere and the professional sphere.