While emphasizing the great performance delivered by Stéphane Ruffier and by Mathieu Debuchy, the Verts’ coach explains why he made an important, tactical change during the second period when his team was being torn apart by Strasbourg.
What does this 11th match without defeat make you think of?
It’s almost un undeserved result. But, when we have a great goalie and a defender who never gives up and who scores decisive goals, you see we have a strong mental capacity. When you take into account their performance, Strasbourg deserved better. But, unfortunately for them, either they couldn’t get past our goalie or they played a bit awkwardly in front of the post. Which means that it was a miracle that we won.
What is your judgement of your team’s performance?
We could have scored with our first offensive, we got really close, we went to fight. When you take into consideration our desire to win and our performance, clearly we have some things to fix. It’s possible that after the match against Paris we wanted to deliver an incredible performance. And, Strasbourg really rocked us to our core. Sometimes, you don’t deserve to win. In Rennes, we only earned one point but we had the necessary openings to win. Against Paris, we also deserved the three points. But this time, we may have only deserved the one point.
Kévin Monnet-Paquet, who you repositioned as left back during the match, showed himself to be decisive after your tactical change. Why did you take the risk?
We had to take risks. We’re lagging behind the teams that are ahead of us in the rankings and you don’t advance with tie games. We had to try it, even if it meant losing the match. This time, it paid off. But, if we continue playing like that, it won’t always pay off. I congratulated everyone for their performance against Paris despite the fact that we only took one point. This evening (Saturday evening), we took three but there are certain players that I won’t congratulate and I’ll tell them just that. But, they know how they did and they don’t need to watch their game to be conscious of the poor quality of their performance.
What did your team lack?
Technically, we were very weak. During the confrontations that transpired during this match, they were much better than us. However, we had time to recuperate. Either we have been too arrogant or it’s mental fatigue. We’ll try to pull ourselves back together.
Your team is now one point away from 5th place...
There are five matches that still must be played. We’re taking the risks to win them. By playing just as we played this evening (Saturday evening), we won’t win. By playing like we played against Paris, we can make it. By doing a good job, we only took one point against PSG. With three or four players to save us, we took three tonight. That’s the paradox of Football