“France can qualify for the 2023 World Cup from April, provided they beat Wales this Friday (8:45 p.m.). Is it a final?
Yes and no. We still have five points ahead of our opponent tomorrow (Friday)† It is up to us to negotiate this match well so that we can almost qualify for the World Cup on Saturday morning. Mathematically, we would miss a point, with three games to go. You have to play a serious game against a good team. We’ll have other finals if we miss the march tomorrow night, but our goal is not to miss it.
In the first leg, the Welsh could have grabbed a tie at the end of the game before the Blues took the point home (2-0, November 30 in Guingamp). Is there a little fear?
Yes, we are very scared (ironic)† It is true that the first leg was undecided, but we had dominated our subject. When you take the opportunity to (Jesika) Fishlock, it’s kind of weird how she gets here. But what’s interesting is what follows. What I remember is that we managed to reverse the trend in two steps behind us. I talked to the girls about it: in injury time or at the end of the game there is a chance against, a chance for. You have to be observant and they handled things very well. Even if Fishlock finds the post, out of mind (Pauline), Peyraud-Magnin is on the ball’s trajectory. We exploited the counter well in the back. It proves to us that this team plays until the whistle blows. And they were ten then. They are a team that we take very seriously, but we are not afraid of them.
“We’ve arranged things for the girls to recover”
Are you surprised by the evolution of Marie-Antoinette Katoto, who is currently walking on the water?
From the moment an attacker scores, it means she is good. Fortunately, because of my attitude as a coach, I don’t have one player on my team. At eleven to one it would be a bit difficult to play. There is also a lot of potential around her to bring her good balls. Scoring goals is good, but if you take another one, no. So you also need good defenders. So excuse me, but today I will talk more about a homogeneous team, there are different talents in this team.
Did you have a discussion with her about her celebration dedicated to Aminata Diallo against the Netherlands, during the last rally?
There is no subject. We are focused on the game in Wales.
Kadidiatou Diani and Marie-Antoinette Katoto celebrate the goal of the second against the Netherlands during the French tournament in February. (E. Garnier/The Team)
The Lyonnaises and Parisiennes play a lot of matches, especially with the Champions League. Do you manage their playing time?
Fatigue is there, but management will not be there. We have a game to win. We have been recovering since Tuesday morning. There will be no management. We have a goal, the clubs also theirs, but everything in its time. We made sure the girls could recover, that was the most important thing.
“It still lacks a bit, and especially consistency”
Grace Geyoro has become increasingly important with Les Bleues. Does the performance meet your expectations?
She has gone through a good evolution, I think she can do even more. She has to play the French team game entirely on her own. It still lacks a bit, and especially consistency. But at least what she’s doing is better than in the recent past and I think she can do even more. The captain’s armband (at PSG) gives her responsibilities, I also told her that she could take those responsibilities here without having the armband, which was awarded to Wendie. He is someone with an introverted personality, but it is much better than before.
Delphine Cascarino was a little hollow with OL, but coming back well. How do you rate its development?
Delphine is growing up. She has a lot of experience with her club, she also has a thing for the French team. She can help the left. We know very well that she is used to playing on the right, but on the left she can do us a favor, so we won’t withhold it from ourselves. †