first team / Arles-Avignon - OL J-2

Claude Puel's press conference

Published on the 22 October 2010 à 15:11

What does the injury situation look like?
Ederson continues his rehabilitation. Things are going well, even very well. For Chelito (Delgado), we are taking our time so that he can regain confidence completely. The healing is complete, we will now up his workload, but we will not set a date for his return, even if he could be operational quickly. Toulalan is continuing his treatment.

This morning, L'Equipe reported on a meeting between you, Jean-Michel Aulas and Cris. What can you tell us?
I thank you for granting me 24 hours off yesterday. It feels good. I'm not going to comment on these things with certainty or in the conditional. When things go less well, this kind of article appears, when things are going better, you have a different kind of article. It’s Lyon! It's a little Hollywood, without the H. I do not know if it is the protagonists that lead to this. It allows our rivals to work in peace, we have to deal with it. Since I arrived, I made up my mind. I have other things to do than make comments. We have a tough game to prepare.

Where do you stand vis-à-vis the fans?
I’m not paying much attention to it. It's not in my thinking. For several weeks, I have said what interests me is the field, is to see my players express themselves and get stronger individually and collectively. I'm focused on the field and not all that surrounds it.

Do your four straight wins constitute some sort of response?
The only answer we have to give is collective in view of the poor start to the season: climb back up the standings, continue this mini league that is the Champions League, a competition which is not finished. It looks like we are qualified with 9 points, but the points we'll have to go and fetch then from Benfica and Schalke, and we know that it will be very tough. One can indeed assume that all teams will take maximum points against Tel Aviv. Each thing in good time. We are progressing, building our season, that is what is most important.

Are you afraid of reliving the same misadventure as last season at Grenoble (a share of the points at the Stade des Alpes, with Grenoble taking their first point at home)?
Experiences are meant to be lived and analyzed so that we can use them later. We know that this type of match is always difficult against a team which remains on the back of a point earned in Brest where they were very solid. They offer fewer and fewer options to the opponent than they did early on in the campaign. We will have to work hard. We cannot talk about trap because we are forewarned, we know.

Michel Bastos seemed disappointed to be taken off against Benfica. Have you spoken with him?
I look at it on the bright side. He wants to play every game, to play 95 minutes. We are entering a period during which we will play every three days. We have not yet had to do a lot of permutations because we had a lot of injuries. Due to injuries and the late arrivals of some, we could not work the collective. Some players are lacking playing time, need to find affinities, it's nice to align them quite often. Michael made a good start to the season. As far as his last matches are concerned, I think there is a progression in his game, there is a lot more physical density, more volume, more regularity.

Will you be playing the most important game of the week Arles-Avignon?
Indeed, it has become the most important game of the week. (Laughs) The Champions League has now been put to one side. This game is important because it is one that can possibly take us up the table. It should confirm our progress. It is difficult because it is always easier for a professional to be concentrated and alert against a team that plays at the top end of the table or in the Champions League. In the approach, it's actually the most difficult match. I hope this does not happen in the content.

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