Pros Friday 16 March 2018 à 16h23

Stéphane Ruffier : «It's a new Saint-Étienne»

The Stéphanois goalie assures that the team has gotten their serenity and stability back thanks to the work of Jean-Louis Gasset and his staff.
How do you explain the team’s current, positive momentum?
The team is functioning a lot better, which is bound to have an impact on our personal lives, which positively affects our performance on the field, and consequently, the scores. At the end of last season, we needed a fresh start. Many things changed: the coach, the team, ...Our equilibrium was overwhelmed. Jean-Louis Gasset and his staff brought us the stability that we were having trouble finding.
Is it harder being a goalie than playing another position when times our tough?
It’s far from being an easy position to play. But I think that the lack of confidence was general. We all doubted ourselves, individually and collectively as well. During the winter transfer window, players with much experience joined the club. They’ve done a lot of good for us, mentally and on the field.
Were you worried about the outcome of the season?
Before the winter break, we couldn’t think of anything else other than maintaining our Ligue 1 status. Our results left us with no hope for a possible European qualification. Today, we have found a way to play the game that is consistent with what we know. We’re starting to impose our style of Football once again and I believe that the teams that face us know that this club is different from what is was a few months ago.
How do you picture the end of the championship?
As long as the last match isn’t yet played, anything is possible. At the moment, we’re in the middle of the rankings. It’s not easy to play in a championship whose rankings change very quickly every weekend. The quality of our recent performances gives me confidence for what remains of the season. I’m an optimistic person!
The draw earned in the last few minutes of the game to secure a tie, did that throw you for a loop?
I think we deserve better than a simple point. We imposed our game and more importantly imposed our rhythm on Lyon playing as an away team during this derby. In Lyon, this new Saint-Etienne demonstrated its amazing qualities. We went to play this derby without any problems or apprehension, which enabled us to deliver an amazing, collective performance.
Do you have a role to play for the strikers?
They’re players that have to capitalize on openings to score. Scoring goals is the most difficult task in Football. Recently, we’ve created many clear openings but success isn’t always guaranteed. I’ve given advice to the strikers, during the training sessions or at the end of matches. It does me good to do so! I provide my advice as a goalie to these players concerning the position of the adversary’s goalies and specific actions as well. If I can inspire the younger players and those training to be goalies, it’s an honour. I’m here to share my experience.
What is your opinion of your adversary this weekend, Guingamp?
They’re not a confident opponent, but we should be wary of them nonetheless. This team will certainly burst with pride if it succeeds in resuming its forward march, our priority is that it not be against us.

Expériences ASSE