The Stéphanpois captain will lead his players on a continental campaign which he hopes to use as a catalyst.
How are you tackling this first European Cup match?
It’s a new competition that, I hope, will launch our season. The beginning of our championship season is complicated on an accounting level but we are improving.
We have to move past the small mistakes we make. We’re not successful right now but our mindset is good. That will come.
What does beginning a new European campaign in the UEFA Europa League with your long-time club inspire in you?
It’s a great competition. There have been great moments there from a collective point of view. We’ve met great European teams, made amazing trips. Compared to a few seasons ago, the clubs are now thoroughly playing the Europa League, it’s a true European Cup. Especially for us in Saint-Étienne. If the club is known abroad, it’s also thanks to its participation on the European level.
Your teammates and you will moreover be supported by several thousands of Stéphanois supporters.
It’s fantastic. And it’s not a surprise because we’re used to it. We know what the European Cup represents for our fans, for the club. There’s a particular excitement. Just look at the match against Nice, last season, when we qualified for this edition, the joy at the end was magnificent. We gave our fans great moments and they want to experience them again. We’re certainly happy. It’s a chance.
What do you know about La Gantoise?
It’s a good team from the Belgian championship. The players have experience. There are some International players. Belgium is today a great Football nation, with a very high level selection of players. The championship is of a high level. It’s an exciting competition to play and tomorrow we’ll have a complicated match. These are small groups of four teams with ultimately few matches. The first match is important for the table. And also to show everybody that we are ready.
The team is looking to once again find the path to victory. What would you like to highlight as an improvement as a captain?
We’re missing the ability to capitalize on our opportunities to score during our strong periods. That’s what we had difficulty doing in Toulouse. We made many shots on net without however scoring goals. We have to score the first few because it would be different for us. What we showed Sunday is encouraging even if we know that winning matches is the most important thing in Football.