“As the World Cup approaches, big European teams (City, Chelsea, Real) have suffered in the last few days. Paris, for its part, seemed to unfold…
I looked at what happened for the teams qualified in C1 this weekend. Obviously, without any player sending me a signal of concern, my obsession was to build the most competitive team possible. In the three sessions we had, I saw players invested. They gave today (sunday) a very nice answer. We were serious, applied. We tried to widen the gap. We were serious on a defensive level, in recovering the ball. It’s a good Sunday afternoon. We had to win. Lens is making an incredible run for a second. We have had a very good run. From the moment my players made the difference, I was focused on managing my players. I quickly made the changes to protect each other.
“(On Kimpembe) I didn’t want to start him because he had been playing for a long time. But one of my priorities was to get him to play as long as things were going well. »
Presnel Kimpembe entered fifteen minutes from the end. How did he feel?
Yesterday (Saturday), he did 100% of the session. Two days before, 80%. He did not have the three days of rest that the others had after the victory in Lorient. Members of the staff of the France team came to see him, to evaluate the work, to discuss. I had in my head that he could participate today (sunday). I didn’t want to start him because he had been playing for a long time. But one of my priorities was to get him to play as long as things were going well.
What did you think of Hugo Ekitike coming into play?
We are happy for him. A few weeks ago, Hugo asked to chat with me. It was very structured as an exchange. He was chomping at the bit, was in frustration. I told him to enjoy every moment, in contact with the best players in the world. Progress also goes through sessions with them. He had taken a blow to morale when he saw that he was not starting in Reims. He had let go. My job was to remobilize it. And session after session, he got back into the requirement, in the intensity. He picks up the pace, takes the cues. He scored this afternoon (sunday). It’s very good for him. He was waiting for this first goal in the Parisian jersey.
“It took some time to find the best animation and to get my fantastic three to express themselves as well as possible. »
What conclusions can we draw from these first four months?
It’s a unique season. We are first, undefeated. Only Naples is doing the same course as us. We worked on different systems. It took a while to find the best animation and get my fantastic three to express themselves as well as possible. There are still many lines of work. The only small regret I have is that we didn’t beat Benfica in the Champions League. But we are qualified. I take a lot of pleasure, I stay focused and I ask the people I work with to remain demanding, not to fall into a comfort zone. I hope that the World Cup will be able to travel here to the Park, that one or more of our players will bring back this magnificent trophy.
How are you going to manage this truce?
Of the players not going to Qatar, not everyone is going on vacation. Not all of those who need playing time will have a three-week break. All of my assistants will share the work. There will be a collective recovery around December 5, 6. We’ll see where our globalists are. I work so that there are at least ten days off for them afterwards. »