Lucien Favre: 'We played some good football'

OGC Nice's second win in five group games saw them to take first place in Group D ahead of Partizan (2-1). Lucien Favre, the coach, appreciated the football his side produced.

Coach, can we finally say that OGC Nice have a benchmark match this season? What do you think? 
It was a good match. I think we played good football. We played forward a lot more, with lots of runs and openings and plenty of speed. That's very, very important, I've been saying that since June. You need to have these options. But still, it's hard to analyse the match. We conceded a goal, and we were not doing well for 5-10 minutes, and that's exactly the kind of situation in which we just have to hang on. On the other hand, after we scored a goal, it was a good reaction. We had to win this match.

Brahimi's deep runs allowed us to play some attacking football... 
Yes, we played some good football; we looked to get forward. We didn't drop back and allow them to give us the runaround. That's because there were plenty of options, lots of runs and solutions in defence. Especially on the left side; that's the base I want in the future.  

Hicham Boudaoui had a great game. Since the beginning of the season, he has mostly been used in the Conference League, and less in the league. Why is that?
First of all, he had two injuries that lasted more than a month, so it's a real handicap because you don't see him in training. It's also mainly because he can play almost every position. He can play as a three-man midfielder, he can play as a two-man midfielder. He can play many positions, even left wing. Of course, he is better in certain positions, but he is really very versatile. He runs a lot. In the recovery of the ball, it's important. 

Why did you wait so long to make changes? 
I didn't wait long. You have to remember that there are some players who can get into their position as the match progresses. And sometimes not at all, because they are not used to playing in that position. Sometimes, some are better in another system. In the end, we went to three, because Partizan started to play long. That's just how it is. You have to have the solutions. 

Mario Lemina's goal?
Yes, I'm happy that he scored. He took a shot, but it was deflected and it went in. In the end it's the same thing. 

Is it important to have an axis of experienced players to help the the others make progress?
Of course, it is important to have a balance in the team. The young, the not so young, the experienced players. Real leaders are capital, whoever the coach is. 

How do you explain this lack of attacking efficiency and the difficulty in killing the game off at the right moment?
We had a few chances, and we could have taken more shots. We had three or four efforts that didn't go in. That's how it is. At least we created chances, that's the most important thing for me. But it's not the most important thing, if we can put it in the net, it's better. We won, and we didn't do too badly at all.