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Favre: “A positive start”

Interview

September 28, 2017

Favre: “A positive start”

In his press conference, Aiglons coach Lucien Favre was pleased with his side’s victory and the maturity they have shown in the first two matches in the Europa League.

Coach, 3 points, 3 goals, a good evening…

It was good. It wasn’t easy, like against Zulte where we could have been 2-0 down after ten minutes. They were dangerous, of course not that often because we defended well, deep. We then played well on the counter when it was needed. We had several chances that we should have taken to open the scoring, although I am not forgetting that we scored from a dead-ball situation. 2-0 at half-time, it’s good, but it is always dangerous, because if you concede one... We breathed more easily at 3-0, but even then we had the chance to get the third goal a bit before. We have 6 points, a good goal difference, it’s good.

Did you fear that the power cut could lead to a lack of concentration?

You always have to pay attention. There was a dangerous free-kick for Vitesse. We needed to remain fully concentrated.

Two matches, two wins in this Europa League group, that leaves you a lot of hope for what is to come…

Our objective is to finish in the top two. We will face Lazio two times, we have played against two good sides, but that will be a real top level. They won the Super Cup against Juve at the start of the season… In any case, it’s a very positive start for us. We know that there are more points needed, we will take it match by match.

You had a tough month of August, we now get the feeling that your side has found its rhythm…

It is working well yes, but there is still a lot of work to do. Thinking about last season, it’s completely different. We have a different system, last season we changed it a lot.

Your Plea - Balotelli - Saint-Maximin trio is working very well…

As I said to you, there is a lot of work to do, especially at the breakdown. We need to improve our pressing high up the pitch, when we lose the ball. To better deny the opponent from developing their game. But despite everything I am saying to you, there are lots of positives (smiles).

At the start of the match, we could feel your experience from playing in this competition last season…

We really wanted to do something in the Europa League. We know - we saw that last year - that it is tough to come back from a poor start in this competition.

Saint-Maximin’s goal?

It’s a nice goal. The speed, he has it. He needed to be smart to score after a run like that. It wasn’t easy, it is a spectacular goal.

What have I said to him since he arrived? We are working on everything quite simply. He is very receptive. He still has a lot of work to do, but he is only 20, he is still a kid! Like being able to play one touch with both feet, he also needs to learn to alternate, participate more in the team’s game between the lines. Defensively, he does the best he can, there is some accuracy to find, but he gives his all.

The Plea - Balotelli duo, not necessarily evident at the beginning, is starting to become very interesting…

There is still huge potential for improvement between the two of them. In their passing accuracy, their coordination to press the opponent.

Plea is also becoming more and more effective…

Yes, he is scoring regularly, I hope that it continues. He also has a lot of room for improvement, in his control? It takes time, but he is working…

Lazio beat Zulte, with a heavily changed side…

That’s what we can’t do. I have already said it, the future of Nice is several experienced players and to throw in youngsters. Our bench has an average age of 20. They are good youngsters, it’s worth working with them. It will come, in the coming months.

Marseille were beaten by Salzburg, is that a good thing ahead of the derby on Sunday?

It’s hard to judge, they switched it a bit, with 6 or 7 changes. But whatever happens, it’s not easy to go to Salzburg…