The day after drawing with Steaua Bucharest, Sidney Govou looks back on OL’s European campaign as well as thinking ahead to Sunday’s game versus PSG, a team that has pushed OL to the brink twice already this season.
Almost perfect. We had an amazing qualifying journey when qualification was of the utmost importance. But the toughest is yet to come.
Was there some disappointment after the draw with Steaua?
No, even if we had preferred to win and end the group phase with a victory, more for the impetus it would give us in the league than in the Champions League. We had a good first half and our opponents showed a strong desire to play. So we are happy with the draw.
You were fouled quite a few times…
Yes. (laughs) That was quite irritating, I couldn’t play. It was frustrating because I love to have the ball and take players on. As soon as I turned, I was tripped or pushed. We knew they were committed, and it fell on me.
Your rivals thought of OL as champions already. How do you motivate yourselves?
We’re not stupid. We know that every team playing us is playing their game of the year and that every match will be difficult. Some teams have a style of play that suits us allows us to express ourselves. Others are really tough for us. Paris is perhaps one of those teams. Both times we have played this season, it has been hard-fought, but we have come out on top twice.
On Sunday you will meet PSG for a very special match…
We cannot focus on the context of the match, which is not of our doing. We will simply take the field and try to deliver a performance that makes the fans happy. It’s that simple. When you look at this Paris team and its players, it’s clear they have great qualities and a lot of experience in the league. So we know it will be a tough match.
Are you surprised then with their current difficulties?
Yes and no. That’s how football is: it’s not enough to put 11 players on the park to win all your matches. There are very particular circumstances in Paris. Can they manage everything going on around them? Maybe that’s the question. I don’t know really, I’m not really in a position to know about it.
What view do you take on the situation PSG finds itself in?
I watch what happens and read what is said but it’s none of my business; I play at Lyon. Like when these things happened at Marseille, it draws a lot of attention. These are the hazards of football. I hope they can get through it but it’s not for me to judge. People there know better than I do how to manage things. When you lose matches, crises are more common. When you win, everything is okay. At OL, we are doing well at the moment but will have to stay vigilant to make sure it doesn’t happen to us.
What has been your experience of the incident that befell PSG last week?
It’s dicey. It shocked all of us. Football is just a game, it’s meant to be a good time where everything goes well. That the situation has come to this troubles me but security is not my field; I don’t know how you manage 40,000 spectators in a stadium, so I don’t have a solution. We just play to win. We play hard during the 90 minutes and then we shake hands.