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Vieira: “We continue to progress”

Interview

February 5, 2020

Vieira: “We continue to progress”

Patrick Vieira analysed his side’s draw with Stade de Reims on Wednesday at the Auguste-Delaune (1-1). 

Coach, given the way the game went, was this match a missed opportunity?
You can talk about a missed opportunity when you only analyse the second half. But you can’t forget the start of the match, which wasn’t great. We could have trailed 2-0 after 25 minutes. We went in at the break with a score that allowed us to believe. But then, there are regrets given what happened in the second half. Unfortunately, when you don’t score the second goal, you are never beyond sight. Even though we conceded this goal, we put in a very good second half.

Do you regret the tactical change (switch to five defenders in 73rd minute, Editor’s note)?
Because the equaliser came shortly after? No, not at all. You need to see that from the moment we switched to 5 at the back, Reims didn’t create a chance. We conceded from a corner. We knew that they were dangerous from set-pieces. Unfortunately, this was a really well taken corner and they were more agressive than us. The change was based upon the match and the physical condition of the players. If I had to do it again, I would do so.

Did the Reims’ high press surprise you?
We weren’t surprised, but we took too long to bring the ball out from the back. We weren’t well positioned and we lacked rhythm. Once we really got into the match, we were a lot better. We suffered at the start and at the end. We need to recover because there is an important match on Saturday.

Nice are unbeaten in seven Ligue 1 matches, but aren’t winning away from home (9 away matches without a win). Which stat should we focus on?
You need to think about the quality of the football produced in recent months. Our objective is to improve. The results will come as a consequence of our performances. This evening, we didn’t manage to hold on to our lead, but the players and the team are progressing and that’s the main thing.

Is a victory a must against Nîmes?
Yes but we will be playing against a side that will need points. We spent a lot of energy tonight. We will recover as quickly as possible. We will need our supporters to try to get us over the fatigue and get a good result. We will think about how to prepare in order to cause them problems.

What are you feeling within the squad?
I see a squad that is enjoying playing together. They are disappointed with the result but I am happy with their spirit. We were united, we put in the effort, everybody worked defensively. From that moment, we gave ourselves the chance of winning the match. We need to maintain this spirit in order to continue to progress. There are positives to take away: we are continuing on from what we have done in recent months.