Mauricio Pochettino saw what he wanted to see this Wednesday evening against Nîmes (3-0): a reaction after the failure of Lorient (2-3), last Sunday. Happy with the overall performance, as well as the performance of Angel Di Maria, the PSG coach also admits that his players have thought of the clasico, which will be held on Sunday, in the second period.
Di Maria continues the matches. Is this the best way for him to reach his optimal level?
MAURICIO POCHETTINO. I am happy with its return and its investment. Like all players, he needs playing time. He is very important for the team. He’s been there for a long time at the club. I am happy with these performances.
Did you perform without a fault this Wednesday evening after the failure in Lorient (2-3)?
The reaction is good. We had to react after Lorient. In the first half, we controlled the game, well played. In second, we lowered our foot a little but we controlled. This 3-0 allows us to think calmly about the next game.
Are you looking forward to the Sunday clasico?
They are always different matches. That’s more than three points. We know how important these games are to the fans. There is a lot of passion.
How can you succeed in two halves of the same intensity?
We try to make a full match. Today, I preferred the first half. The solution lies in the requirement. In second, we already had a little head in the clasico on Sunday. We will have to play 90 minutes at the top, like in the Champions Trophy final. Having the same level over 90 minutes is the main challenge after a few weeks together.
How do you see the situation at OM?
I am sad about what is happening in Marseille. I know André (Villas-Boas) well. I know him well, we both coached Tottenham. We always show solidarity with the other coaches in these cases. A clasico remains a clasico. OM will give everything, like us. We cannot predict what will happen in these matches.
Mbappé still played in the axis. Do you prefer him in this position?
We are looking for the best position to harness the talent of each player. Mbappé can find the spaces and exploit his speed in this diagram. He is more free to find the spaces. I am happy with his performance in this position. We are looking for that balance for him and for the team.
You often talk about balance and the collective. Did you like the evening performance?
We still need to improve. I saw phases of transition that we did not manage well. We did some great things today. But we are in search of perfection, the most difficult in football. Over time, we will find a better defensive and offensive balance.
What do you think of the words of Di Maria, who mentions the possibility of recruiting Messi at PSG?
I’m not going to talk about that, or comment on the words of my players. Every word will be misinterpreted and will arrive in another country in a wrong way (smile). I have to stay focused on improving this team. It’s not simple. We play difficult competitions, in a difficult context with the health crisis. I don’t want to mention a name. We will let the club work in secrecy to improve the team and help us win.
Rafinha has come on. What do you expect from him in this team?
We did not start working together since Rafa was affected by the coronavirus. He delayed his preparation. We have a huge workforce. We have to manage the workforce and find a balance. Players who are not playing must wait for their opportunity. We have to help him find his best position so that he fits into the pattern we want.
Article original de: www.leparisien.fr