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Favre: “We defended very well”

Interview

August 19, 2017

Favre: “We defended very well”

A first victory in Ligue 1 for the Gym. Aiglons coach, Lucien Favre insisted on the defensive solidarity of his side, who earned their first clean sheet of the season.

Coach, it was important to work your way through that match…
Exactly. We played against a good opposition, tough, athletic. At the end of the match, they put us in danger, from crosses, from a header from Diallo that was well-dealt with by Cardinale. But we defended very well, that was important. With self-sacrifice and intelligence, especially out wide. There were recovery runs, pressing from Walter and Lees-Melou, to contain them. We needed to avoid conceding a goal.

Your line-up, especially with Rémi Walter on the right surprised a lot of people.
Yes, I knew that it was going to be surprising. There are intuitions sometimes. We knew that there was physical quality on the other side, and that we needed someone to block them. I knew that he could do it. For a midfielder, it’s important to be able to play out wide and in the middle.

The first win of the season, no injuries, it’s a good evening for the Gym…
It was important to find that taste of victory once again, before Napoli and Amiens, the last two matches before the international break. This victory was deserved. We started shakily, we took time to warm-up. They played with a well-organised 4-3-3, it was hard to find space. We had a few chances and above all, we scored at the right times.

What did you make of Adrien Tameze’s first start?

He is getting to the level bit by bit. At some time or another, you need to see what that can do in a match. It was quite satisfying. He has a lot of work still to do, but it was good. He goes forward. Central midfielders need to defend and to travel with the ball. He came from Valenciennes, he needs to pick up the rhythm, it’s quicker. That’s what he needs to work on, to do everything more quickly, his passes, his control. He went off with some cramp. He is an option to replace Koziello against Napoli, but today, I am not sure who will play.

You avoided the defensive lapses that you had seen in recent matches, is that your main satisfaction this evening?

Yes, it was better. The most important thing is that we won 2-0. To defend well, it’s important in all matches. The first defence is getting the ball back. What we aren’t doing just yet is the immediate pressing when we lose the ball, but in our recovery runs this evening, it was good.

Sneijder almost played the full match. How did you see his debut?
It wasn’t planned that he would play 85 minutes but we weren’t too sure of what his capacities were. He was important in the replacement, he made himself available. For his first match, it was satisfying. We will see how he recovers between now and Tuesday.

Your team seemed more comfortable in this set-up than the one used against Napoli. Will you use it again on Tuesday?
We are used to playing this system in a 4-2-3-1. We have played in this way for most of the time since Cyprien got injured in March. We adapted quickly, we have the players for it, I think. We also played some matches in a 4-3-3, or in other systems. But a back-five also has its positives, it allows the defenders to have shorter runs. To answer your question, I am still not sure for the match against Napoli.