The Stéphanois coach has to deal with several unexpected absences for his trip to Nice but he’s counting on the motivation of his troops in order to earn a positive outcome against OGC Nice.
Is the postponement of matches annoying?
We’re in a period when you have to take everything into account. Football is sometimes secondary, we said to ourselves that we could do our job Sunday without our fans so we’re adapting to the situation. Postponing the training sessions, the hotel and plane reservations, that’s part of our job. We should have played this evening but we revised our schedule. Our session yesterday took place at the Geoffroy-Guichard stadium in order to take advantage of the quality of the field. Today, it will be an easier session and tomorrow we’re going to work on our reaction time in order to make sure we’re ready.
Do these postponements distort the championship?
I don’t think so. The most difficult thing will be to find dates when the European teams are available because the months of January and February are already busy with the Cups. The repetition of matches, especially in the Winter, will make it so that there are more injuries but I think that that will balance out throughout the season.
How do you adapt to the different absences within your team?
Since the match against Bordeaux, we’ve experienced quite a few setbacks. We have a few long-term injuries and two suspended players to add to the list of absent players. We’ll put together a team with a bit of a different face. But for the players who are less sought after, this an opportunity they must seize. There are young players in whom I see potential, it’s in these types of matches that you have to show it. It’s not about putting pressure on our young players or on the players who not are accustomed to playing, it’s about making them understand that it’s a chance for them and not a test. The most important thing is to give them confidence. If we chose them, it’s because we recognized talent in them, and thought they could have a great future. Certain players have been giving me a heads up for 6 months they want to play, it’s in these types of matches that they must prove this to me.
Does Pierre-Yves Polomat number among these players?
Polomat has been irreproachable since the beginning of the season. He trained and played with the reserve when I asked him to. I saw that he was fit and had a lot of energy, he was presented with an opportunity and seized it. He may have made a small mistake in his life but I only judge what I see.
What do you think of your next adversary, OGC Nice?
They took 14 out of a possible 18 points and haven’t let in a goal for 6 matches. Nice is strong. The team is completely euphoric and is happy to play against Saint-Étienne. We’re also happy to play, it’s our job. And whatever happens, we won’t have our injured players and our suspended players back who are still serving their suspensions.
Can the absence of your starting players affect the outcome of your match against Nice?
During the two matches we played as an away team, we played very, very well but we didn’t take a single point. Against Nice, we risk being seen as a team that performs more poorly than we normally do but who knows, it might be there that we’ll take points.