The day before Dijon’s arrival (this Wednesday at 6:30pm), in the Coupe de France, the Stéphanois coach insists on the solidarity that his team must demonstrate in order to overcome the disappointing defeat in the Derby.
Have you left the disappointment of the Derby behind you?
We had a day to manage things and to speak with the players. Today (Tuesday), it hurts less because we have to concentrate on tomorrow’s match, in the Coupe de France, that keeps our minds occupied. The job of a coach is to be positive despite the cruelty of a match because every defeat is a great disappointment but, with time, you just remember the positive things. In the rankings, we’re fourth, we have 36 points, we qualified in the Coupe de France. I tell myself that we’ll achieve the goals of the club.
Is immediately playing again the solution to move past a great disappointment?
Playing is actually the only remedy when there has been a disappointment. Only a string of victories will let us move on. The outcome remains etched in our memories because with the heart that we have, with our unique fans and this magical stadium, we deserved a point. But a snag like this one shouldn’t stop us. That’s how we separate the boys from the men.
Does the team remain affected by the outcome of the Derby?
Everyone questioned themselves because the outcome always influences everything but that’s normal, you have to get used to it and then that’s also the nature of the match, the Derby, which stings. We saw great players, technical gestures, goalies going crazy in front of a record number of spectators for the Geoffroy-Guichard stadium. At the end of the match, everyone was frustrated but we’re a team, a family. That’s very important for the next match. I was clear with the players: “there’s no one to blame: when we win, we win together. When we lose, we lose together.”
What is your ambition for this match against Dijon?
The goal is to qualify. We’re still far from the end of the competition, so we take it one match at a time. We’re playing against a Ligue 1 team whose coach is thinking about managing his team in light of the next match of the Championship because tomorrow, there won’t be a tie and we’ll have to avoid going into overtime because with the repetition of matches and the muddy fields, we have to protect the players in order to have them with us over time. Dijon changed coaches (Antoine Kombouaré replaced Olivier Dall'Oglio) but the players are the same. The Coupe de France will not be their objective. The team has a 6-point match to play against Monaco this weekend. When a coach arrives to save a club, he thinks about this mission first and foremost.
Emiliano Sala (a former FCN player) is currently missing. What is your reaction to this news?
I think about his family especially. I hope that there will be good news soon.