Napoli v Nice
August 14, 2017
Ready to work
As the Gym prepare to face Napoli, guided by a common objective - the Qualification for the Champions League -. each of the member of the squad approaches the first leg of the Champions League play-offs in their own way. Each with a desire to put in an impressive performance by making an individual impact.
Jallet: “We need to approach the game simply”
“I have never had the opportunity to play in Naples, but of course, I have played in many atmospheres like it…” With the 42 European matches in his locker, Christophe Jallet is perfectly aware of what these occasions have in store. And the French international doesn’t need to look back that far to remember the electricity that surrounds these occasions. Last April, he played 120 minutes and a penalty shootout in Istanbul, against Besiktas, in the quarter-finals of the Europa League with Lyon, and secured a heroic qualification.
Arriving with the Gym this summer, the former PSG man is now preparing to discover the excitement of San Paolo whilst wearing the red and black jersey, in a city where everything is excessive. Everything except his perception. “First of all, we need to approach things in the most simple of manners, he explained calmly. The context, we have the time to think about it before, but once we are warming up, we will forget about all of that. We need to focus on the pitch and not what is happening off of it, because it’s in that way that we need to perform. And there are some very good players who are ready to face this challenge, we saw that against Ajax. We have a consistent squad, that is together, and we will be putting in the effort together to bring home the best result possible.”
Seri: “Napoli are a big side”
With Vincent Koziello and Alassane Plea, he is one of three Aiglons to have played in the two previous games against Napoli. Scorer in 2015 at the Allianz (3-2 victory), Mika Seri tasted Campania one year later, when the Gym in full preparation mode fell to an inspired and alert side (3-0). In 2017, the face of the opponent hasn’t changed much: the stars are still there, the coach and his 4-3-3 are too. And the Ivorian international knows it: the Gym will be faced with a mountain. With boots on their feet and enormous hearts in tow. “They are a very good team, with very good players. I don’t know yet how we will play, but we will try to work to see if we can counter them and frustrate them.”
Without doubt by taking lessons from their two previous opponents.
Lees-Melou: “To impose our tempo”
He made his European debut against Ajax, during a two-legged match which allowed the Azuréens to feature in this play-off against the side that finished last season in 3rd place in Serie A. Arriving from Dijon this summer, Pierre Lees-Melou (24 years old) is one of the new and young faces of the Gym in 2017/2018. A youngster who is already savouring the taste of the immersion into a mythical volcano. “My teammates don’t have very fond memories of last summer, confirmed the number 8, but it was a friendly and the context will be totally different on Wednesday evening. We know that it will be tough but we will try to impose our tempo on the game. The opposition, even though this will be their first official game, it’s certain that they will be ready. We need to be so too.”