“What does this Saturday game against PSG mean to you?
For the club, the people, Auvergne, it is something very special that our elders have experienced in a Coupe de France competition. (4-4, 4-3 on tabs in March 1997)† It should be a party for everyone.
How did you prepare for this competition?
I didn’t do anything more than usual. We are lucky to know them because we see them often. Nothing has changed compared to the other matches.
Are you going back to the first leg (4-0 defeat) to avoid repeating certain mistakes?
We had introduced something coherent, except that we had made big mistakes. We hadn’t done everything it took to really have a shot at points against them. The context of Saturday’s game is different. The game will be different. We have to get points.
Do we prepare differently if we have to face Kylian Mbappe, who is currently doing very well?
We are obliged to take this into account. Otherwise it would be suicide. After that, we’re not going to radically change the way we play. We know very well that it will be complicated because I think he is the best player in the world today. For the players who will be on the pitch, it will be quite an experience in their progression. These are matches that should make them grow. Putting something up against Mbappe, Messi, Neymar is not easy. We hope to disturb them in any case. We are in a league, we need points. I hope we don’t get to see them play.
Are you going to take inspiration from PSG’s recent defeats to hinder them?
It is necessary to compare. They lost in Monaco (0-3) but we don’t have the same characteristics as Monaco. We don’t have the same power. I also have to take that into account. We have to play with our qualities. We know that if we start the game well, we can consider disturbing them a bit. We also had good results against 2nd, 3rd and 4th in the standings. In a football match there is always hope. Anyone can beat anyone. We have to make them doubt.
You always say you play to get the three points. Can you deliver this speech against a team of this caliber?
We lost four games in a row. In general, of course, we are not in a very good dynamic of results. But I don’t think we had a bad game against Nantes (2-3)that PSG. defeated (3-1) before. Unfortunately in football there is nothing really Cartesian. We have a chance, we will take it completely.
“I still think PSG was the victim of a referee error and there was a foul on Donnarumma”
How did you recover after the defeat in Nantes?
Tuesday afternoon was tough. We are in a league, we don’t play recreational football. We don’t like losing four games in a row and mostly by making big mistakes. We say things to each other, but there’s no point in coming to training and being angry. Pleasure should always be collective. We tightened the bolts a bit. Now, against PSG anything can happen.
You are talking about collective pleasure, do you think some are too much into individual pleasure?
I think so. If we have fun individually against PSG, I think we will pay dearly for it. We must realize this. You have to do it as professionally as possible. That’s what I expect: seriousness and conscientiousness.
Do you regret PSG’s elimination from the European Cup?
For the UEFA index, yes. For us, yes, certainly. The poor, I still think they were victims of a referee foul and there was a foul (from Benzema) on Donnarumma. They pay dearly for it. I would rather they played against Chelsea yesterday (Wednesday) evening and they might be a little tired to us. †