Vitesse - Nice
December 6, 2017
L. Favre: “There will be changes”
Attending the press conference ahead of the encounter against Vitesse Arnhem (which will start at 9.05pm on Thursday), Lucien Favre confirmed that he will make changes to his starting eleven for the final group game of the Europa League. Although the Gym have already qualified for the Round of 32, the coach is still expecting a solid performance from his side.
Coach, the match on Thursday, will it be a chance to test those players who play less?
Exactly. There will be several changes, of course, but there won’t just be youngsters. We are looking for something from every player on the pitch. It’s clear that for those who haven’t played much until now, this will be a match where we can hope that they will be able to express themselves. But we need them to play and not to say to themselves that they need to have a good match or that “it’s a chance”, because there will be others. It’s a good match, a match in Europe: we are playing to win, like every game. And the two teams will play.
Can we expect to see a return for Wylan Cyprien?
In all likelihood. In general, before we used to say: “8 months out, 8 months to find your best again.” That would put us too far back. Too far. So we hope that he will come back quicker than that. He is back after 9 months, but he needs to go bit by bit, because he suffered a really serious injury. He played 65 minutes with the reserves in Fréjus, then a half in a friendly. Now, he is starting back with the first team for this Europa League game. We will see how long he can play and how things go tomorrow.
How are you feeling about it?
Good. But then, matches are matches, there are challenges, tackles, aerial battles, etc. It’s another thing, another level, and he will need time to adapt.
“To bring the youngsters through bit by bit, it takes time, we need to be patient”
Despite there being “little a stake”, would a victory be that important?
Yes. As I have said before, we will make the most of this match which doesn’t really count, there will be quite a few changes. The important thing is to put in a good performance. Results are a consequence of the way we play.
Will this match allow Yoan Cardinale to make his return in goal, or will Walter Benitez continue in between the sticks?
There will probably be a change.
You have left a lot of players back at home, why have you kept Alassane Plea with you?
Because we can’t play a match like this with only youngsters. You need a lot, but you need some experienced players to accompany those who will start the match. And Plea didn’t play at Toulouse.
Lamine Diaby-Fadiga, is this also a way of continuing the club’s project?
To bring youngsters through, bit by bit, to train them, it takes time. We don’t know if they will all make it, we hope that the maximum will. But it takes time. Not weeks, but months, maybe terms, sometimes years. You need to be patient. For Nice, one of the only possibilities is to build with youngsters. It’s always good when there are some in a club who are making it out, because they have been here for a certain period of time, with the youth, the Reserves. They are often “the soul of a side” when they impose themselves. If there are 3-4, that makes a core base, and that is very important for a team.