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Favre: “Already good to have come back”

Interview

September 22, 2017

Favre: “Already good to have come back”

In his press conference, Lucien Favre appreciated his side’s second half performance after a very difficult start.

Coach, how do you analyse this match? 

We had a very difficult start. We were too rushed, far too much through the middle, because they were well grouped, very compact, a kind of 5-4-1 which got going quickly at the breakdown, and that’s where we made lots of errors. We gave them easy balls, we played too centrally and it was being countered very quickly. I always say that when we attack, we need to think about defending, and when we defend, we need to think about attacking. And there, in the transition between attack and defence, it wasn’t great. We knew that they were dangerous. They defended well and went quickly on the counter. It is positive that we came back. At the end, we could have got it to 3-2, that would have been brilliant. But it’s already positive that we came back given how we started.

Stéphane Moulin said that the penalty was the turning point in the game. Do you agree?

It was important, but it’s not the turning point. Speaking of penalties, there was a clear one in the second-half. But I won’t spend time talking about that, the important thing was that we had the desire to play better and to come back. And especially to play more intelligently returning from the dressing room, using the wings. Even when we were trailing, we were patient. In rushing the game, we would never have had as many opportunities: Lees-Melou, Le Marchand with his right, the strike from Plea at the end, a couple of chances from dead-ball situations, like Dante’s header. Our second half was OK.

Can you see similarities between this match and the match against Troyes at the start of the season?

No, it’s different, we weren’t the same team to start with. Today, they blocked our 4-4-2, their 5-4-1 was ideal. We prepared for it before kick-off when we saw their line-up. We didn’t see the spaces, we needed to move the ball right, then left, looking for the gaps, rather that trying to go too quickly and then being caught on the counter. We weren’t good when we lost the ball, and weren’t well placed going forward. These are little details of positioning, that we corrected at half-time. If we had gone for it too much, we would have gone 3-1 down and would never have come back.

Lees-Melou played a lot through the middle, was this planned?

Yes. Pierre can play wherever, but he isn’t a typical winger. Cutting into the middle, he allows the full-back to push on etc… St Maximin isn’t the same kind of player, on his wing, he can go deep, set the defender up 1-on-1. There is work to be done, but it’s normal.

Is it a blow?

No, it’s a continuation (smiles). I have said this from the start of the season, all of the matches last season were difficult, it’s the same story this season.

You only made one change, why is this?

Who did you want to come on? Ganago? My two forwards were dangerous every time they had the ball. Sneijder? That would have required a change of system. In the second period, we had lots of chances and we conceded a half chance, I don’t think we needed to change the system.