Press conference

Farioli: 'Regain our composure'

Francesco Farioli spoke at the press conference after OGC Nice's 2-1 defeat at Toulouse.

How do you explain this latest defeat?
We're in a moment when it's a bit difficult to find the right words. We got off to another great start today, opening the scoring, which is what we've been lacking in recent games. We had two or three chances to kill the game off. And once again, by losing focus for ten minutes, we paid dearly for the chances we conceded. We're in a situation where we need to wake up. But we also need to keep a clear head. Since the start of the season, our objective has been to be in the top six. We're still in the top five. We need to find a balance between the enthusiasm of the start of the season and what is clearly a difficult time at the moment. We need to clear our heads and play the last ten games as hard as we can. 

In the 63rd minute, you made two changes, with Laborde and Perraud coming on and Moffi and Bard going off. Then you conceded the goal. Do you blame yourself for this?
Individual errors are part and parcel of football, and we shouldn't focus on them. With the two substitutions, we wanted to bring in a new mental and physical energy. Terem Moffi's two months without training started to show in a very physical match like this, with lots of duels and open-field situations. It was becoming difficult for him to keep up the high-intensity action. And as for Melvin Bard, we had conceded three or four dangerous situations on his flank so, likewise, we wanted to bring in some fresh blood.

You decided to play with a three-man defence that included Rosario, and with Moffi as centre-forward and Guessand on the right.
That's how we prepared for the game. We knew we were going to face a team that was going to come at us hard and we wanted to have Terem Moffi up front so that we could play into the space they left open. We controlled the ball well and once again created a lot of chances. The only regret is that we didn't get off to the right start early in the second half. 

What did you say to your players in the dressing room?
I don't like to talk after games, either wins or losses. We're still emotional. It's important to analyse matches in the cold light of day. We'll look at the match again, try to understand and then we'll talk. Talking in the heat of the moment is not my method. We're going to watch the match again. Then we'll listen to the impressions of all the players and share our analyses. 

How do you explain the fact that the team, which was so stable at one point, quickly became destabilised? 
The team doesn't let itself be destabilised so easily. Toulouse played a great game, but you have to give credit where credit is due. Football is a game made up of episodes, and you have to be able to capitalise when you have positive episodes. We had three or four chances to make it 2-0. When you can't do that, especially at a time when you're starting to feel a bit scared and have psychological doubts... You have to stay clear-headed, without forgetting the journey we've made from the start of the season. We need to know who our rivals are and what our objectives are. We need to regain our composure so that we can start doing things right again and prepare for the Montpellier match. We also had three chances to equalise. On the first two, the Toulouse 'keeper made magnificent saves and on the last one, there was a slightly contentious action on the line. I'll be interested to see what happened with Cho's chance again so that I can understand.

In November, Nice were top of the table. Is the club in a results crisis today?
No, not a crisis. As I said, maybe we got a bit too used to the position we were in. As I've said at a number of press conferences, I may have sounded stupid at times when I said that, but the objective was the top six. There was still a long way to go in the championship and we had to stay focused. I kept saying that, not because I didn't believe we could stay right at the top, but because I know what a season is all about. After the Lens match, at the end of the first half of the season, I knew what difficulties we could face between January and February with so many absentees, with the African Cup of Nations, with the mental and physical overload on certain players. We need to get back into the swing of things because we finally have a full squad. We need to recover from these two difficult months. Everything is still to play for, everything is still open. We can still achieve our goals. That's what motivates me, that's what I believe in and that's what I'll be telling the players tomorrow.

You thought your players were a little too individualistic against Clermont, did you change your mind about that match?
No - what I said was that during the match against Clermont, there were times when individual choices were made but with the idea of helping the team. They were decisions that were generous for the collective aim but which weren't totally suitable in my opinion. But it was always done with the desire to help the team. Football is a game played with eleven players, plus the staff. Matches are won or lost together. Mistakes are solved together. That's always been our mindset. I could give you an endless list of moments when the team made good collective choices, very high-level choices. We need to rediscover the pleasure of doing that with patience and mental freshness, because I think that's what we're lacking most at the moment.