Olympique Lyonnais coach Rémi Garde wasn't trying to hide his ambitions for Sunday's match against Auxerre... with or without international midfielder Maxime Gonalons...
Rémi Garde first of all addressed the injury issues: "Jérémy Pied will play with the reserves this weekend. Mensah will train. Concerning Maxime Gonalons, he's not far from being back in action, but he's still doubtful for Sunday. If he reinjures his calf muscle, it could be very serious so we want be taking any risks. If Maxime is missing? I'm thinking about options. Without necessarily changing the formation or the way we play, I have options, such as Fofana, S. Koné… I'm thinking about who fits best where. Does Maxime's injury mean I regret our recruitment policy? I don't live with regrets. If at the time we decided to reinforce the squad when Jérémy Toulalan left, there was a reason for it… We'll see when the January mercato opens... Fofana? He's a young player who is discovering the top division and everything that entails. He's competing for places along with the others. His strength is his passing and his movement, more than his ball-winning capabilities. I don't consider him a replacement for Maxime."
Do you think your players look a bit tired?
"Players don't have the same fitness or mental levels. There are those players coming back, those that have played a lot of football, and that doesn't mean they're tired or out of form."
What are you expecting from the Auxerre game?
"I'm expecting a lot from this game. I'm expecting us to bounce back and above all, I want us to act first, rather than react.The team has already done it. I'm expecting a lot from my team, collectively: solidarity, unity... We've analysed our recent performances and I'm trying to transmit the lessages to the players..."
Does OL have the potential to finish in the top three of Ligue 1?
"Our arguments from the start of the season haven't disappeared. Perhaps we don't have the means to get through this rough patch without all our players. You can't suddenly say it's finished for us and stop playing. A season is made up of cycles."
What do you think about this Auxerre side?
"They are a team that play well for one half of football and then not so well for the next 45 minutes. They are still a team that loves to get forward quickly. They have their backs against the wall. Before heading to the Parc des Princes to take on PSG, they'll be desperate for a win. It will be very difficult. Last season's 4-0 loss? We haven't spoken about it."
How is Gomis going at the moment?
"He's not in the same sort of form that he was a few matches ago. Between getting called up to the France squad and then not being picked, he's struggling a bit. It also coincides with a period when the team isn't playing as well. He needs to work hard to get back in form. Start him or not, it's one of the things I'm considering."