Press conference

Farioli: ‘Play the match of our lives, every match’

More than happy with his side’s performance in overcoming Auxerre 4-2 on penalties in their Coupe de France Rd-64 clash on Saturday (0-0), OGC Nice coach Francesco Farioli paid tribute to his players never say die spirit during the post-match press conference. 

Coach, above and beyond the actual qualification with so many players missing tonight, what positives do you take from this match?
I'm taking a lot of positives from it. Once again, it's a demonstration of the group's collective strength. It's a shame it went all the way to penalties, because I think our team deserved to win the game inside the 90 minutes. It was great to see so many young players on the pitch, players who haven't played much up until now, who fought right up until the last minute. In the space of a week, they were able to get to terms with a new playing system and a new formation both in defence and in attack, so I'm proud of the lads, both the more experienced players and the younger boys. Their parents can be proud of them, they played a great game with discipline, quality and team spirit. We've been showing that spirit since the start of the season, it's our main quality and we're going to keep getting stronger.

Are you disappointed that you weren’t able to score before the penalty shootout ? 
It's not nice when you can’t score. Tonight, we created three or four clear-cut chances thanks to the effort, quality and discipline of all the players. There were some great combinations through the middle, starting with the central defenders, the midfielders and then the attacking players. We were able to find options between the lines, turn and play 5-on-4s on their defensive line. We could easily have put one in the back of the net. As I said to the players before the penalties, I'm proud of the 90 minutes they played. Their performance was recognised by the fans, who cheered us on from start to finish. In terms of atmosphere, it really was like a Ligue 1 match. The boys deserved their victory. From tomorrow, we turn the page and begin preparing the next match. 

Marcin Bulka again showed his quality in saving penalties...
We know Marcin's quality and what he brings to a penalty shootout. I'd also like to thank Jarkko Tuomisto, our goalkeeping coach, and Kévin Jeffries, our data analyst. They prepared very well for the exercise by studying lots of penalty shootouts. Marcin distils all that work behind the scene and is always able to put his stamp on our results. It's a culmination of his talent and the work of the people behind the scenes. It's this combination that has enabled us to do so well this season.

With what the young players showed tonight, are you happy with the quality of your playing squad? Do you think the team is capable of maintaining its competitiveness in Ligue 1 and also go on a long Cup run? 
Our aim is to go as far as possible in the Coupe de France so that we can keep enjoying moments like this. As I said at the pre-match press conference, this group, this club, has suffered a lot in the last two years, with that final loss in 2022 and the elimination in the Rd-64 last year. It's the same for me: in Turkey, I lost a Cup semi-final in the last minute. I don't make any difference between the league and the cup. In both cases, there are matches and opportunities. We don't want to give anything up. We want to achieve our goals and we know how hard that will be. We play the match of our lives every match, with maximum concentration and commitment from everyone. The results aren't always there, but we always want to do our best in every match, in every competition.