Wahbi Khazri:

Wahbi Khazri: "We have everything we need to play a leading role"

Before facing Dijon, the best striker evokes the Stéphanois team’s skills and the ambitions that he has his sights set on.

Pros Thursday 20 December 2018 à 15h50

What is your objective in terms of goals this season after having received the Player of the Month award in November?

It’s good to be given this trophy but my objective is above all to continue helping the team so that we finish in the top four of the championship, that will mean that I’ll have played a good season and scored a few goals. Not being a real striker, I don’t have an exact number of goals I’d like to score. I really want to give myself the means to deliver a great performance this season. In Rennes, everyone took me for a crazy person when I announced that I wanted to play in the Europa League, but we did it. I count on experiencing the same thing here, in Saint-Étienne.

In what area can you progress further?

I’m not perfect. I’m given too many yellow cards, it’s a black spot on my record but they won’t change me. It’s really up to me to progress, to contain myself.

How did you experience the match in Nice?

I would have liked to be there to play but I contented myself with encouraging my buddies, at home in front of the television with my children. In these cases, you always tell yourself that you could have brought something to the team. It was a match where there were spaces to exploit, that’s exactly what I appreciate.

How do you judge ASSE’s position in the rankings?

We’re where we want to be: not too far from the top teams even if there’s not a lot of distance between us and the teams below us in the rankings. We’ll have to do better as an away team because even if we played good matches and deserved better against Lyon, Bordeaux and Nice, we only took one point. That’s the proof that we still have to make progress. In any case, we’re every bit as good as these teams.

Have you come into your own on the Stéphanois team?

Being number 9 on the team is a true pleasure. That’s where I feel the best because scoring goals is exciting. When you start to score, you get a taste for it and you don’t want that to stop but I’ll play where the coach needs me to play. Jean-Louis Gasset played an important role in me coming to Saint-Étienne because he’s a man that has rubbed shoulders with the greats ones and that really understands Football. For a player, it’s important to have someone who knows the game like him and that tells you the truth rather than a manager. Thanks to him, there’s a good ambiance among the staff and the players, it lets us work well. With its fans, Saint-Étienne has everything it needs to play a leading role in the championship.

What does Loïs Diony inspire in you?

Loïs is a great player but a striker always has difficult moments when he doesn’t score. He hasn’t lost his skills as a striker but right now he’s working to get his efficiency back and he sees light at the end of the tunnel.

What type of match are you expecting from Dijon?

We’ll need to deliver a great performance in order to take points against this team that has talented players and a good defense. It’s up to us to play a serious match, to play Football well and to please our fans to earn the three points, finish the year off well and make it to the break without difficulties.

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