Gérard Houllier held a press conference before the day’s closed-doors training session. He discusses several current issues at the club…
Coupet, Vercoutre - Clerc, Müller, Squillaci, Berthod, Abidal, Källström, Tiago, Diarra, Fabio Santos, Juninho, Wiltord, Govou, Benzema, Ben Arfa, Baros, Fred.
Gérard, a word on Nancy and the match?
“It’s an important match; another step towards our number one objective, which is to win the title. Also, we’re playing 24 hours before Lens, and we should take advantage of that to have the best performance and match we can. Nancy? The team is getting itself back on track. The second season is always the toughest. They had a good first half of the season. They’ll stay up. They have a quality squad.”
Will you play with two strikers in Lorraine?
“That won’t be done in Nancy… I don’t think so… unless I change my mind. Logic, psychology and merit have to be taken into account. Also, I don’t want to give you any indication of my choices. All I’ll say is that Abidal will play.”
How was the OL squad this week
“They were tired, understandably, at the beginning of the week after the matches against St-Etienne, Roma and Marseille. Also, we’ve played on some tough pitches, which hasn’t helped us. On Wednesday, training was high quality; then, to break up the routine, we rested on Thursday. But we’re not that tired. I’m not breaking up our routine for the fun of it. I’m after efficacy; what’s good for the squad.”
What inspires you at this point of the season when players start talking about their future?
“I respect everyone’s individual plans. But the future of the players depends on the present. It doesn’t shock me. I went through the same thing in England. In football, everything is normal and abnormal. In France, I have already got past the phase of being astonished. I trust the players. If they want to sign contracts, they have to move their arses.”
What do the words and choices of Raymond Domenech inspire in you?
“I don’t have anything left to say about the France team. And if there are 9 Lyonnais against Austria, I’ll adapt. I meet Raymond Domenech on the day of Marseille’s visit and we discusses Robert Duverne. It went well.”