Press conference

Farioli: ‘A bit of emotion at the end of the match’

Here is what coach Francesco Farioli had to say following Le Gym’s 1-0 win over Le Havre, that officially qualified the club for European competition next season.

Tonight you cemented a top six finish and European football. The players and fans celebrated the achievement. How do you feel? 
It's certainly an important goal for the club. I won't hide the fact that there was a bit of emotion at the end of the match, because it's been a long season, a season with many positive moments, but also some more difficult ones, from a sporting point of view, as well as some particular situations from an off-field point of view, concerning the team - and you know what I'm referring to. Tonight, our thoughts are with our friend Alexis Beka Beka. Beyond that, I just want to say thank you to the club, to everyone, from the chairman to the security staff. Everyone who works for the club. If we're here tonight, it's because we've been through the good times and the tough times, and we've always helped each other and stuck together. All of us. We've tried to smile, even when it wasn’t easy. Tonight is a great night for OGC Nice, for the city of Nice and for the fans who, once again, were outstanding this evening.

Congratulations on qualifying for Europe next  season. Which Cup would you prefer to play in?
For now, we are working from the assumption that we want to hear that very special music during in our midweek games. I think that's the most beautiful ambition. I was at a press conference two days ago and I used the same image: there are three doors in front of us. We've opened the first one. That keeps our chances alive of hearing that special midweek music. Our next match is against the French champions. We have great respect for them, but also a great desire to be as ready as possible, a great desire to offer our supporters more joy. Once again, let's take it match by match. We'll have the final answer to your question next Sunday evening in Lille.

Do you want to stay next season to lead the club into continental competition? 
We spoke about it recently. At the moment, we have to think about our main objective. I also said this at the pre-match press conference. For us, it's important to keep all our energy and attention focused on the present. I will use the image of the bubble again. Tonight, talking about myself, other individuals doesn’t make any sense. What makes sense is to talk about what this team has achieved, about the club and about all the people who have worked towards achieving this first goal. Now we have another eight days of hard work to finish as high as we can. 

The official aim at the start of the season was to finish in the top 6. That’s done now. Has officially been a successful season for OGC Nice? 
Yes. But obviously, with everything we’ve been through, we don’t want to stop here. On the one hand, we can still dream, or hope, for better. On the other hand, we have to protect our position, because Lens can still potentially overtake us. The championship isn't over yet. As I said, tonight we can relax and enjoy this great achievement for a while. It's perhaps the first time this season that I've allowed myself to go beyond a standard level of celebration and emotion. But from tomorrow morning, we'll start preparing for Wednesday's match with same desire, the same attention to detail, the same hard work. That's how it will be until the last day, because this club deserves it. This city deserves it. Its supporters deserve it. We're going to give it everything right to the very end. On 19 May, we'll see where we stand. But let's take it one step at a time, right to the very end. 

This was your seventh 1-0 win in Ligue 1 this season. Were you worried about dropping two points tonight? 
In these types of games, with just one goal... We had the opportunity to score the second or even a third. In games like this, you have to keep your focus right to the end. You have to keep your attention levels extremely high. Anyone who follows the team knows that I try to help them as much as I can. Sometimes with words, sometimes by even trying to get on the pitch with them. With that last free-kick, I was very energetic on the sidelines. I didn't want the team to sit too deep, and I wanted us to keep defending bravely, right up to the very last ball, to not allow Le Havre's aerial threat to be dangerous in the penalty area. Sometimes matches are won that way.  We've won a lot of them like that this season. Sometimes we don't play as well as we'd like, or look as flash. But the important thing is also to be effective and to know how to suffer. That's what football is all about. I'm proud of these players, proud of this team, and that's the way it should be.