PSG-Dijon: “Marquinhos is the heart and soul of the team”, explains Tuchel

This Saturday, PSG avenged itself for its defeat against Manchester United (1-2) in the Champions League by punishing Dijon (4-0) on behalf of the 8th day of Ligue 1. Thomas Tuchel, the Parisian coach , detailed his choices, including the new role of Danilo Pereira in central defense.

Why did you put Danilo Pereira back in defense?

THOMAS TUCHEL. It’s not tactical because Danilo can play in this position. Marquinhos too. He is the heart and soul of the team. He has to play at the heart of the game. He has an extraordinary combination. He is talented, he has all the qualities, with a hard-working mentality. It is a combination that we are looking for. When he’s in the middle, he can help all the players. He has volume, he helps everyone. He was decisive in Portugal for us, against Bergamo and Leipzig.

Are you satisfied with Danilo Pereira’s performance in defense ?

Yes. I am convinced that he has all the qualities to help us. We play very high normally. He played for several minutes as a defensive midfielder. He is able to open the game, he is strong in his head. This will improve the defense. We tested today because it was my wish to have Marquinhos in the middle.

Do you feel that you are missing a defender if Marquinhos comes to play in midfield this season?

We have all the possibilities. Marquinhos can do it but he has shown he is able to push this team to the same level in the middle. He is exceptional in the middle. It does not change anything for the number of players. We have Thilo (Kehrer), we have Danilo who will improve I hope. We will look for the best solution for the team.

What is the real position of Moise Kean, double scorer against Dijon?

He’s a striker. His best position is with two forwards. It gives intensity to our game. It is its strength, its athletic side. He gave that against Nîmes and Dijon. It was difficult for him against Manchester. He can help on that level. We can’t wait too long. He hasn’t played much at Everton.

Are you reassured from the point of view of the intensity and why did Neymar finish captain?

In the end, there weren’t many options left apart from Ney (smiles). I’m happy in terms of intensity. At home, behind closed doors, the players must seek motivation inside. It’s hard to find the state of mind. It takes more effort from the players than if there were 45,000 people. We never lost distances in the block. We defended together. It is necessary to suffer together in the Champions League and in Ligue 1. The team was ready today.

What is your assessment of the week?

I did not accept the defeat against Manchester United with the feeling that we did not show our true face. It’s hard to accept. I have the feeling that we are still together and that we did not prepare in the best way for this match against Manchester, including me. I can’t digest it. We cut and looked ahead. We found the state of mind today.

Is Istanbul a turning point in your career as a PSG coach?

You might know more than me (smiles). I will not think about it. If you know me, I will prepare this match to win it. It won’t be easy. We lost the first game but it’s not the end of the world. We lost Draxler today, it’s expensive. He will be missing Marco Verratti, Leandro Paredes and Julian Draxler. The Champions League is the toughest competition in the world. I have confidence in my team. We are able to overcome obstacles.

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