Press conference

Absentees, goalkeepers, Bambu... Francesco Farioli takes stock before Auxerre

Francesco Farioli appeared at a press conference on Thursday afternoon. With two days to go before the Aiglons take on Auxerre in the Coupe de France, the Italian coach took stock of his squad.


"The players unavailable are the same as for the last match: Sofiane Diop, Badredine Bouanani, Khephren Thuram and Aliou Baldé. They are in the reathletisation phase," announced the Gym coach before confirming that Thuram and Bouanani were the closest to a return. "We hope to have them back next week. The others will continue their recovery."


When asked about the possibility of rotating his goalkeepers for the Coupe de France, Francesco Farioli emphasised his ambition to approach the Round of 32 tie against Auxerre "with the desire to do the best we can with the best eleven players", while highlighting the importance of Salvatore Sirigu in Nice's squad. "Our team has built its success on the participation of everyone and 'Salva' is an experienced goalkeeper who gives us guarantees, as do other players we have used less. We're going to go with the players who are most ready and who have the most continuity on the pitch. We'll have to face this Auxerre team with a lot of respect and concentration," he added.


Against AJA, Gym will be without three of the pillars of their defence, with Jean-Clair Todibo, Dante and Melvin Bard suspended. It's a situation that will force the Italian coach to adapt. Asked about Youssouf Ndayishimiye and Pablo Rosario, who could be called upon to replace them, Francesco Farioli confided that, in his thinking, the Burundian was primarily a central defender and Pablo Rosario a sentinel midfielder.

When asked about the other options available to him at the back, the Italian coach was keen to highlight the progress made by Antoine Mendy, who started for the first time this season against Lens (J17 2-0) before the break. "He's quite a versatile player. He can play in at least three positions, but for me, he expresses himself best as a central defender. He can be an alternative right-back because of his great speed and the quality of his crosses, but I see him more as a central player," he revealed. He's a player I'm counting on. At the very start of the season, there was a possibility that he might go out on loan, but I asked them to keep him with us because I wanted to see how he would develop. He's been very good since his return from injury, and he's learnt a lot and progressed in terms of the team's style of play. The fact that he is so ready after being out for so many months and that he played a big game against Lens says a lot about him," praised the coach.


On loan to Vasco de Gama (Brazil) in 2023, Robson Bambu made his return to training at the start of the week. "For Saturday's match, we're still awaiting the outcome of the administrative procedures currently under way regarding his eligibility, which is the only thing that remains to be settled. Otherwise, he's back in a great frame of mind," says Francesco Farioli. We had a chat yesterday and he's very positive. Over the last few days, I've seen him very attentive to requests at every meeting and every training session. He's very curious and has already seen a lot of our games this season from Brazil. We don't have complete control over the transfer window, but he's a player who's brought a lot of freshness since his return, and those are qualities we need in this team."



Sofiane Diop: 3rd metatarsal foot fracture

Badredine Bouanani: ankle

Khephren Thuram: knee

Aliou Baldé: adductor