first team / OL - Monaco D-2

Toto Squillaci: “We’re not on holidays yet”

Published on the 21 December 2006 à 19:56 by BV

On Sunday, OL will meet AS Monaco, where the OL defender was based last year. “Toto” talks about his attachment to his old club sets the record straight on the start to his season 2006-2007..

In the Coupe de la Ligue, you’re one step away from the Stade de France. How do you feel?
We’re not there yet but it’s not far off. We had our hearts set on doing well in this competition and going the whole way. It happened with a win against Nancy, so we were all really happy after the match.

On Saturday, you will face your old team-mates from Monaco. Are you excited?
Yes. It will be great to see my old friends. But we still have to win the match. I will have to maintain concentration on the field. It will be a very special game for me. I was under contract for 8 years at Monaco, 4 of them as a professional. I’m sure I’ll find it a bit weird, but I’ve moved onto other things. Now, I am at Lyon. I will give everything on the pitch and then see my friends afterwards.

This Monaco team isn’t at its best at the moment.
That’s true. They had a pretty bad start to the season but they have bounced back well. They are still a tough team to play and have individual quality as well. Even though they aren’t ranked very high at the moment, we still have to be careful. The new manager seems to have turned things around there. Maybe we aren’t catching them at the best time, we should have played them earlier. I’ve heard they want to come here and get a result. So, we have been warned: we’re not on holidays yet and we really want to finish the year with 3 points before going on holidays for serious recuperation.

When you look at the rankings of the two teams, do you feel you made the right choice?
It never makes me happy to see Monaco going through hard times. That club has always been dear to me and still is. I hope they bounce back quickly because Monaco shouldn’t be placed 14th on the table. It should be in the top 5.

In the last five seasons, OL has never won the last game before the break. Why is that, do you think?
I hope it’s going to change this year. The last few years, we hadn’t achieved as much as we have this year, so I hope this match follows suit.

On a personal note, what can you say after half a season at OL?
It’s gone really well. I feel good, be it on the field or off it. I was warmly welcomed into this friendly and open team. The good vibes in the locker room make a lot of things easier. I’ve played quite a few games and progressed nicely. Playing with players like these is a great joy.
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