When you turn 57, and after more than twenty years of experience as a coach, you will discover Ligue 1. In what state of mind are you about to make the leap?
With a desire to bite him. Desire to discover the elite of French football. I go there with great enthusiasm. After that, we know very well that it will be complicated for us. But, here we are, we want to learn and try to move forward.
You said you watched a lot of Ligue 1 matches to prepare for the season. In which sectors do you expect big differences with Ligue 2?
Spherically speaking, the big difference is that there is more quality in both penalty areas. Big difference compared to what we can produce. The difference is more efficient. Also, in terms of the environment, for a club like us, it’s not easy to manage… even if we’re already giving ourselves a certain pressure. Last year, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves too early because we saw that we were in the process. We definitely wanted to get to the end and controlled that pressure. It is very positive. We just have to play, insist on what we can do and we’ll see.
Are you still pushing in your research work or have you modified your preparation especially for the first division?
No, we did not change anything during preparation. I don’t think it was necessary. We have always worked the same way and always got results. I did not see the point of the change.
I keep calling Ligue 1 coaches to ask for advice from them…
Yes, to discuss with them, to try to put all the assets on our side, to get ready quickly, and not to waste time because we didn’t know… He gave me some pointers about the environment, about the problems we would “inevitably” have: and that meant winning much fewer matches than they had In Ligue 2 and accept that. It was very enriching for me.
You raise expectations, people want to see your player and team team develop, is this recognition important to you?
Yes and no. I am a person who especially likes to win. And I think to win, for a club like us, we have no other choice but to play, and to control the game a little bit. I know it will be more difficult in the first division but we will not change any optics that much. We’ve worked like this for so many years, it would be foolish to change our principles today. What I want is to win. We don’t play to play but to get results. And our game is results oriented. After that, I always think about the show. There are people who come to see us, and I don’t want them to get bored. But the introduction of the game has above all the goal of efficiency.
Maintenance will be the club’s number one goal in its first season in Ligue 1, a problem it hasn’t been accustomed to playing for a long time…
We can’t hope for more than maintenance. We’ll see how we can manage that, with less profit… We’ll see if the group is still united because, when everything is going well, there are rarely any problems, when we lose a little more. ..but I don’t worry too much. On a mental level, we have a united group, we feel cohesive, even if it is true that it will be difficult to manage.
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