For Gérard Houllier and Kim Källström, this match is important for numerous reasons, even if it won’t change the course of the season for either team…
what is at stake in this match ?
« Three things. Firstly, to win this home game will mean a flawless group phase record. Also, any match won in the Champions League gives great confidence for the future. Finally, it will mean ten victories at the Gerland in all competitions this year. ».
Is it important to show in this match that OL is among the best in Europe, as the figures prove? ?
« I know we are among the best in Europe… I don’t need to look at the figures ».
Is OL favourite for the Champions League this year ?
«We have a good chance to win, as do the other 15 teams in the Round of 16 ».
Is this match less important than the game against PSG on Sunday night? ?
« We are focused on Steaua and will do our best to play a good game and get a good result. We are in a good position because we are already qualified and want to play well and win. But Bucarest will want to challenge our will to win. Steaua will be as comfortable as us as they have qualified for the UEFA Cup ».
For the last two seasons, this 6th match has been a bit special, hasn’t it ?
« Inevitably. As far as we are concerned, I repeat that OL has a group of 23 players and everyone contributes to our success. There will necessarily be some changes such as the return of Caçapa and Ben Arfa. The value of our manpower is more important than the quantity as the attitude of the players comes before their talent. I’m sure OL will be very strong on the night ».
[IMG41604#R] Kim, tell us about Bölöni (former Steaua player) ?
« He was my coach at Rennes and he launched my career outside Sweden. He had faith in me right from the start and gave me a lot of game time. I thank him and I am disappointed about what happened to him at Monaco ».
How do you approach a match like this one ?
« Like we always do. It’s a chance to show our qualities. There are three points at stake; it’s a short competition where we can’t afford to make any errors. There won’t be the same pressure, but playing at the Stade Gerland in the Champions League is always special. The fact that I have played almost every match since my arrival has made my integration into the team very easy and also made me very happy ».
Has playing in the Champions League with OL challenged you?
« Playing the Champions League is different, it’s like playing for the national team; there is no room for error. There is more pressure than in the league; the rhythm is higher, it’s a battle for 90 minutes. Everyone raises their game. You get a chance to play against players you don’t rub shoulders with every week ».
Kim, when are you going to score at the Stade Gerland ?
« I really want to – and I have had quite a few chances since my arrival, even hitting the bar once. But I’m not worried. There isn’t much for it other than to work hard at training. It will happen… »
The OL squad:
Ben Arfa, Berthod, Bettiol, Cacapa, Carew, Clerc, Coupet, Diarra, Govou, Källström, Müller, Rémy, Réveillère, Squillaci, Tiago, Toulalan, Vercoutre, Wiltord.