Press conference

Farioli: "Get back on track as soon as possible"

Francesco Farioli spoke at his post-match press conference following Le Gym's draw with Clermont at the Allianz Riviera (0-0).

Can we consider today's result as two points lost?

I'm not sure. There's regret about not winning it. From my side, I want to thank the fans. They pushed us on until the final minute. I'm sorry because we had a good start to the match, the first ten, fifteen minutes. After that, in the second half of the first half, we lost ourselves in too many individual moves, we played less as a team. When we start improvising rather than sticking to the game plan, we expose ourselves and risk conceding. That's what happened with the penalty and also in the second half. But it's not a disaster; we weren't geniuses before, and we haven't become terrible now. We need to get back to work, to push, to pay attention to the little details. We need to believe that everything is still possible. Our objective of being in the top 6 is still there. We're still in contention; we just need to get back on track as soon as possible.

How do you explain OGC Nice's drop in form in recent weeks?

There's a drop in results, not in performances, except perhaps today where the performance wasn't brilliant. When results aren't as good, it's good to ask questions and be critical. In the last month, we've only taken two points, but we've had at least three very high-level performances out of four. Today, what we lacked was the goal. It's a situation that repeats itself. In a match like this, we need to unlock the situation very early because afterwards, we start to fear not scoring. And when we lose clarity in a match like this, we risk losing it.

Jérémie Boga and Terem Moffi returned from the AFCON. How do you manage their fatigue and the need to have these key players on the pitch?

They were in the two teams that made it to the final. These were two teams that played every three days, even though they played little. They had little time to train, a lot of traveling. It was two months without being able to train or work properly. We know that to return to an acceptable condition, it takes some time, that's clear. But within about ten days, we'll see them back at their previous level. But it's a situation that affects other teams too, so it's not a valid excuse for us.

Did Marcin Bułka save the match for you? What did you think of your team's defensive performance?

Definitely, Marcin helped us with that penalty save and also with another stop in the second half. What was lacking today was the defensive phase with the ball. We exposed ourselves to counters. As I've said since the beginning of the season, there are two ways to defend, with and without the ball. And if with the ball, we lose our distances, we're poorly positioned, we make wrong decisions. For a team like ours that plays with two players in the opponent's half, we risk exposing ourselves to counters. And I've said it from the start, we need to avoid transitions with an open pitch, and for that, we need to be efficient with the ball, pay attention to preventive marking and make the right decisions. It's mentally challenging, but to achieve it, we need that; it's our responsibility. That's the joy of defending a European position and pursuing a goal that we all hold dear, players, staff, club and supporters.

Do you think your team is putting less intensity into its press, is less aggressive in seeking out the opponent in their half, and is less able to occupy the pitch as it did earlier in the season? Is it a physical problem?

Today, we had few moments where we could be in pressing situations because we had so much possession of the ball. What was lacking today was a more ferocious reaction to losing the ball. It's been a characteristic of our team since the start of the season, and today, it was missing. If we start thinking about wanting to string passes together, wanting to play long balls, or relying on an individual situation with a dribble over twenty or thirty meters, we struggle to be more precise. In football, everything is the consequence of a cause. We can't be less precise than at the beginning of the season. Our style of play requires physical and mental energy. But if we managed it for the first six months, it's because we put in the work and the sacrifices. We need to find that again, to rediscover that joy. In such a tight league, the slightest details make the difference over time.

How do you explain your team's difficulties in the final ball and in scoring?

If I had a clear answer, we'd have a few more goals to our name. Today, I believe we had 42 or 43 balls played in the opponent's box. Doing better than that is tough. After that, in the box, you need to arrive at the right moment, in the right place with the maximum number of players. It's the players' choice, the reading of the moment. That's what we're missing; it's not new, we've been working on it since the summer. We'll continue to work on that, to transmit confidence to the players. That's the only method I know.