October 3, 2021
Galtier: ‘I liked the manner of the victory'
Christophe Galtier was satisfied with OGC Nice's performance against Brest on Saturday evening (2-1).
The team had the chance to win the game without conceding...
They could have scored a goal in the first half, when we were in a bad place. We should have scored more goals with more ruthlessness and accuracy. But the most important thing is the victory and the way the team expressed itself. I said to you on Friday in the press conference: "I hope the team plays like they trained". They played as they trained, with a lot of intensity, healthy aggression and enthusiasm. I liked the way the team took ownership of the game plan against a very tight and compact block. It's difficult to create chances when there is so much density in the defence. My players were able to create a lot of chances.
We have the feeling that the match was solid and that your team is continuing to improve...
Yes, that's one of the areas we're working on. There are others. In that sense, the team has progressed. Against Saint-Etienne, the start of the match and the first half were very interesting. There, over the course of the match, the team was steady, kept the opponent under pressure, defended much higher than in some matches, which generates a lot of density in the opponent's half and allows us to apply pressure very quickly when we lose the ball.
Tactically, Kamara and Lotomba were playing almost on the same level. What was the plan?
To have width and at least 3 players inside to be present in front of the goal. Yes but with a few variations too.
Good, a good performance. He was very good at Saint-Etienne in the first half, it was the first time I had him play in this line of 4 with different formations. Tonight, he was intelligent in his play, very good in his crosses. He used his strong points: his speed and his left foot. He was able to create danger and combinations on the flank.
Even the defenders are starting to score...
That's the funny thing about this game. Our strikers created a lot of chances, hit the bar once and the goalkeeper made some great saves. Sometimes we lacked precision. And the irony is that the goals came from two defenders, with a lot of luck on JC's part, who was left in the attack on a set-piece return, and a big overlap by Melvin on his goal. That’s good. When you have a goalkeeper who had that kind of game and are also unlucky, if it's our defenders or others that score goals and get the win, we'll gladly take it.
He is improving week after week, like the rest of the group, he has a lot of confidence and he reads the game very well. As much as I find him very effective defensively, I really like the way he bombs forward when he manages to win the ball.
Does the temporary place on the podium with a game in hand and with a point deduction mean anything?
No. It keeps the momentum going, it reinforces what we do every day in our work, in our sessions, what I ask of them. It's easier to work. When you win, we tell you to do this, the proof is in the results. It allows everyone to work in a good state of mind, to maintain a healthy competition. That's also why I started Hassane Kamara in a position that is not his, in a role that is not usually his. I found him very good against Saint-Etienne. The group is in good spirit. This group needs to be able to grow together and write their own history.
Is it painful that the international break is coming up now?
Yes, but that's the way the calendar is. I keep my fingers crossed every time the players go to the national team. Some play a lot. That's good, but when you play, there's always a risk of injury, of contact. That's the issue with a good squad. When you have one, often you have players who leave during the international break. This time there will be 10 or 11. We’ll hope there are no injuries, but it also allows us to work on specifics with the other players.
How is Alexis Claude-Maurice doing?
He's been with the squad for 15 days. He is absorbing the sessions, that are very fast-paced. We often talk to him. I'm very close to him because he has had a fairly serious injury. It will come. If he continues to work and get bigger, it will come for him too.
What about people who say that Amine Gouiri lacks confidence in front of goal?
I don't know if he lacks confidence. I took him out because I know that he will play two games with the Espoirs, of which he is the captain. I also had the privilege of having Kasper, among others, on the bench, so I preferred to give him some playing time. Does he lack confidence? He seems to me to be relaxed. Maybe a bit too relaxed. Is it because of a mental block? His time with the U23s will do him good. But in that match, he lacked precision and accuracy in the opportunities he had. But he is still having a very good start to the season.