After this morning's training, which was preceeded by a long video session which gave the staff and players the opportunity to "speak at length" according to Jean II Makoun, the Cameroon international took a look at the period that OL are going through.
If he rejects the idea that a cloud is hanging over the OL squad after a month of November which saw Claude Puel’s players concede 4 draws (Liverpool, Marseille, Grenoble and Rennes) and one defeat (Fiorentina), the Lyon midfielder « completely » shares the analysis of Hugo Lloris who judged, on Sunday, OL’s month of November as « catastrophic ». « We cannot hide, declared Makoun. Some players have shown different faces from one match to another, especially in the league. At certain times, we just weren’t at our level, whether it be collectively or individually. We just can’t do that. I don’t know whether it is deliberate or not but sometimes we play with the handbrake on and did not make efforts together. » The Autumn was also marked by the number of injuries which hit the OL squad. « That just isn’t an excuse », states Makoun who acknowledges that « a number of players were forced to play through the pain barrier. But that doesn’t explain everything. »
As far as he is concerned, in order to get back to winning ways, OL « must not let their heads drop », and more importantly « stick together in order to refind (their) level and the team play that allowed (them) to get out of so many difficult situations in the last few months. » « Each time that we play as a team, things go well, we put in great performances, he notes. We have to build on that. »
When he is asked if Claude Puel’s message is still getting through to to the players, he assures us that « Yes. The message is getting through. (…) When things aren’t going well, everyone looks for a scapegoat. But he (Claude Puel) has never told a single player not to attack, to give up or not to play with his qualities. He speaks about the team so that we can show the best of our qualities. »
On Sunday, OL travel to Lille with a return to winning ways their objective. « We have a squad which plays each and every match with the intention of winning, we don’t know how to play for a 0 – 0 », underlines Makoun.