first team / OL - Kiryat Shmona D-1

OL's press conference

Published on the 05 December 2012 à 16:32 by R.B

Anthony Lopes et Rémi Garde étaient en salle de presse au stade de Gerland juste avant l’entrainement…


What's at stake in this match ?

What does it mean to you to play in this match?
"It's another dream that's about to come true. Playing in Europe at 22 years of age is pretty extraordinary. I'm sure I'll be a bit star struck at first but I'll give it all I've got. I'll be playing my first match at Gerland, where I've been coming to watch OL play since I was a kid. It has always been a dream of mine to play in this stadium. I'm super-happy to be able to make it come true. We'll just need to concentrate and play our football. What'll be different for the youngsters - different from other matches and stadiums - will be the number of spaectators. We remember the matc against Sparta Prague and the win we got with all the young lads in the team. If we win on Thursday, even if it's just 1-0, it will be fantastic."


Are there places in your starting line-up for the derby up for grabs?
"There are always places up for grabs - for the derby, for the season. I've said it before, I need a competitive squad, an extended group of players I can call on. In the very short term, I needed to make some choices with Sunday's match in mind. I'll run the rule over the squad again on Friday. There will be a new squad for the derby. I've chosen to put a bunch of youngsters in the squad now because I had an opportunity to do so. With top spot in the group already sewn up, I had a chance to make the league the priority."

How important is this match?
"The standings in the group are already sorted out, so we're not going to make anything u0p about the importance of this match. What's really important is having a chance to see how the young lads are doing and also to give some more senior players, who maybe haven't played so much of late, a chance to show us their stuff. It's a great opportunity without excessive pressure, and the lads are keen to make the most of it. I also want to see what they're capable of doing. As far as the this club's image and reputation are concerned, this is an important match."

The players who aren't in the squad will all be at the match. That's what they wanted

Do you already have one ey on the derby?
"I can't tell you that I'm not thinking about it at all... but I've made my decisions. As of this afternoon, I won't be thinking about it any more. The most important match of the week is on Sunday. But I don't think the youngsters will be thinking about it. I made this decision consciously, and I think the squad I chose for Thursday has real quality. I'm not worried; we have serveral competitions to play in and we have to remain competitive. The players who aren't in the squad will all be at the match. That's what they wanted."

What do you think of Benzia?
"He's a lad who just completed his first pre-season with the senior squad. He's very hungry to succeed. He worked really hard right from the off; he has a lot of potential that he needs to realise. He showed a glimpse of that against Prague. If he continues to wrk hard, we might talk about it again. Yassine isn't arrogant. Sure of himself, yes. He isn't a self-doubter, and that's an important quality. But he can be impatient. Still, he's reasonable, which is good because what I have to say is pretty different from what the other people around these youngsters have to say."

 What about Anthony Lopes ?
"Anthony wasn't really helped by the team at the beginning of the match. After that, he saved our skins on one or two occasions. He's a hard worker, like many of the 'keepers who have been successful here at OL in recent years. He's open to advice and he wants to make progress. The OL shirt really means something to him. He's slipped into the routine of being the number two 'keeper quite easily. On Thursday, he'll have his second chance to play, and I hope his teammates will help a bit more this time around."

How is Michel Bastos ?
"Michel has put his back pain behind him. He doesn't have the match fitness to play a full 90 minutes at the moment. He knows it. But he showed at the beginning of the season that he can come on at the end of matches and slot in easily. We'll see for Sunday."

How is Lisandro ?
"I don't think he'll be able to play on Sunday. I'm hoping he'll be back in action for Wednesday's match, or maybe next Sunday's." 

Who iwll be captain on Thursday?
"A player who has already worn the armband."

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