This Tuesday, on the eve of the trip to Caen in the Coupe de France, Mauricio Pochettino was at a press conference in distance. He announces Angel Di Maria’s package for the Champions League but does not intend to change his game plans without the Argentine.
Is Di Maria’s Barcelona package forcing you to review your game plans against Caen and Nice?
MAURICIO POCHETTINO. Not having Angel doesn’t give a reason to vary or move away from the main idea of the team. We will find the best solution. We never take competitive matches to try out. We have to be efficient in the competitions in which we are involved.
Who is his natural replacement, Pablo Sarabia as in Marseille?
We live from day to day. It is not a question of hierarchy. It is not a question of playing number 2 if the number 1 is not there. You have to find the best profile and the best animation in relation to the desired game plan, in relation to the opponent, and to the complementarities with the other available players.
How are you going to manage this week with two games, so the risk of injury before the round of 16 of the Champions League?
We will analyze the situation. The first deadline is the Coupe de France. We will take injuries into account and we will try to field the best possible team. We will put the best performing players as usual.
Is there a risk of demotivation in Caen as in Lorient (3-2 defeat) in the league?
The motivation must always be there when you wear the jersey, when you have the badge on your chest. We always give players the best tools. The motivation must always be there, regardless of the matches, the name of the opponent and the competition.
How do you manage Marco Verratti, who has a lot of connections with you, in a new role?
It’s a question like we’ve been there for five and a half years at the club. We have only been here for a month and eight games. And my only question is: when do we find the time to train? What we’re trying to do is optimize the work and give the players some ideas. This evolution in ideas, in play, in the physical dimension, it needs time and repetition. We need to develop habits. We’re doing a lot of video at the moment, that’s good. But you have to spend time in the field to create habits.
Rafinha plays with you a lot less, why?
All decisions are sporting decisions. When we arrived, he was hit by the Covid-19. Afterwards, we have a large workforce. We make decisions. It is important to be well prepared to get into the right conditions when you call on him. He will have an opportunity at some point.
In Barcelona, we criticize the communication of PSG around Messi, whether it is the words of Di Maria, Leonardo or the front page of France Football. What do you think ?
There has never been a lack of respect from the club towards Barça. You should not confuse a magazine like France Football and PSG. As for Di Maria, this is a statement from a player who talks about his feelings towards a friend. No disrespect.
Article original de: www.leparisien.fr