Nice - Vitesse
September 27, 2017
L. Favre: “The objective is to qualify”
Accompanied by Yoan Cardinale, Lucien Favre attended the pre-match press conference ahead of the visit of Vitesse Arnhem (kick-off on Thursday at 7pm). Without ignoring the quality of the visitors, the Gym’s coach remained resolutely offensive in his delivery.
Coach, can this match set-up the rest of your competition?
That would be the ideal outcome because with 3 points and the goal difference, we got off to a good start in Belgium. We need to focus on our game and everything that we need to do during the match, given that they are not an easy side. This weekend, they beat Ajax in Amsterdam, 2-1, something we didn’t do, that gives us an idea of what lies ahead.
Have you already started thinking about the match against Marseille (which takes place on Sunday at 9pm)?
Of course, as coaches we have already looked at Marseille. But we need to focus on tomorrow’s match, that is all that counts. The Europa League is something different. We said it, we have the objective of qualifying by finishing in the top two. And we know that it won’t be easy, we saw that last year.
Where is Wesley Sneijder at?
He was delayed in his preparation and then, he picked up an injury. Bit by bit, he is ready. Now, there is a system that has been put in place since, in a 4-4-2. His preferred role is really a 9 and a half, and for the moment we are playing in a 4-4-2. For tomorrow? There is a contingent to be determined, we haven’t yet decided the team we are going to play. The season is long and anything can happen. Including a change of system.
On Thursday, the Allianz Riviera risks not being full.
We are playing at 7pm. It’s difficult for the people who are going to work and who need to get straight back to the stadium. Whatever happens, if there are 15 000 or 18 000 spectators, we know what they are like. They will be behind us and will cheer us on throughout. That’s what counts.
After the match against Waregem, do you get the feeling that your side reached a turning point?
The most important thing, is that everyone has understood that we really want to do better in the Europa League. Last year, we started badly. It was a big opponent, Schalke, at home (0-1), we could have got a draw, nothing more. It was difficult because we were drawn in a tough group. This year, it is also the case, they are the cup winners, Vitesse are 3rd in the Eredivisie, and there is Lazio in there too. It’s the Europa League, we are playing “internationally”, it’s important and worthwhile.
What do you need to fear about Vitesse ?
They are a side who generally play in a 4-3-3, even if they have played in other ways. They are very quick at the breakdown and they move forward very quickly, they have pace on the wings. They are well balanced and are also athletic. They are a good team, there are no doubts!