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Patrick Vieira: “We have taken a step forward”

Interview

November 25, 2018

Patrick Vieira: “We have taken a step forward”

The Aiglons' coach appreciated the complete performance given by his side on Sunday against LOSC (2-0).

Patrick, how are you feeling this evening after this great victory?

I am happy with the score and the content against this good Lille side. It's the perfect home match. Lille created quite a few chances in the first half but very few in the second, where we were very solid defensively. We wanted to press them high and to stop them from finding their 4 forwards. In that respect, we defended excellently in the middle.

Unlike your opponent, your side was prolific this evening...

We found quite a lot of space on the counter. We defended a lot deeper than planned in the first half, but it was due to Lille's quality which pushed us back. We accepted that and we defended well. We waited for the right moment and we scored from a chance after an excellent pass by Mario. After the break, we barely suffered.

It's your first win by a two-goal margin this season!

There are still things to improve but to score two this evening is a very good thing. Even though offensively, it's still very average for me. We lack presence in the box. There isn't enough support, especially when the ball is out wide. We will continue to work, we will improve, whilst always trying to play.

With confidence flying for your side, do you think that your players will manage to be free and to take the risks to have greater presence in the box?

It's not a case of taking risks. We need to get a feel of the game and anticipate things. Often I had Mario and Allan in support, whereas I would prefer them in the box. But when you watch this evening's game and the games from the start of the season, you can see that we are a lot more solid. We will win others when playing like we did this evening, we had some good build-up play…

With this fourth consecutive win in Ligue 1, you add three extra points and climb up the table…

It's good but it's anecdotal. What's important for us is the progression of the team. We have taken a step forward this evening because we were very solid against a very good side, it's very encouraging for the future. There are still a lot of matches to come, they will be complicated but I am very happy with the solidity and solidarity of the side. Each and every player put in the effort. They had a very positive attitude this evening. Our forwards gave a lot and worked for the team defensively, that's why I took them off at the end.

Mario Balotelli seemed frustrated when he came off…

It's normal to be frustrated, because he is a striker, he lives for goals. But this evening, he had an excellent game, he worked with the rest of the team. Unfortunately, he didn't score but with this attitude, that's what I want from him.

What future do you see for Saint-Maximin who creates huge gaps in the opposition's defence?

That depends on him. He has shown some very interesting things, but at the top level, that's not enough. He needs to carry on working, to be available for the side and he will be able to show his talent in certain situations. But he needs to do a lot more

You are in the right carriage in terms of the league table…

It's good to be towards the top, that's for sure, but I am interested in progress. This evening, we played a complete match from start to finish, we suffered at times but we were solid, which is important going forward.

Can we say that this match will serve as an example?

The players and I focus on the quality and the evolution of the team. Until now, we have been very inconsistent in our performances but I feel my squad getting stronger. We are a lot calmer than at the start of the season, even when it was difficult, we tried to play.