Masculins / OL - Toulouse D -5

Claude Puel's press conference

Published on 05 August 2008 at 9:31 PM
Three days after losing out to Bordeaux in the Champions Trophy game, what is your analysis of the match?
It was a defeat. At this moment of the season, in our progression, even if we’d won the game on penalties, the assessment would have been the same: we are lacking on the physical side, which is normal as some of the squad have only been back in training for two weeks. For them to play the full 90 minutes of a match with rhythm is difficult, so they didn’t do too badly. We have to get back into the swing of things and add a bit of aggresivity to our game. Against Bordeaux we lost a lot of duels. In the first half, they had us under pressure and technically we were poor. In the second half we found a little more space and speed. We have a number of stages to get past in order to be operational; we are still trying to build. We have to progress a lot to be performant at every level.

What do you expect Sundays game, against Toulouse, to be like?
We’ll have a week’s more work behind us, which is not negligible. We’ll be more competitive. Toulouse will be compact, solid, will take any opportunities that they can and will make things difficult for us. It will be a classic home game with the other side defending very deeply. In that type of game you have to be patient, put pace into the game in order to tire out the opposition and try and avoid any stupid counter attacks. On top of that, Toulouse are a side who, in general, always start off the season well.

How do you see the 2008/2009 season going?
The league will be a lot tighter this season as all the other teams have progressed, the advance that Olympique Lyonnais had, has been considerably reduced. It’s a difficult League. We will have to be at 100% in every match if we want to win. There are a number of clubs looking to win the League this season. Obviously there is Lyon but also other clubs; Bordeaux will be very strong. It’s not � Lyon and the others » but « Lyon and a whole load of other teams that will be fighting it out for the title ». PWhat OL have done over the last few years is extraordinary. This year there are a lot more adversaries and they have a lot of quality.

Are you happy with the current Olympique Lyonnais squad?
The squad is fine. Obviously you would always want better players but we already have a competitive squad. Afterwards, you have to have a real team and develop their collective force. We’re not far off having the squad that will be available to us on the 31st of August. I want us to have an identity as far as our style of play goes, so that we can find our marks and be able to respond as one. We have a lot of work to do! I’d like us to have much more collective hold on the game, more links within the team. A team that wants to dominate in all sectors of the game has to be able to play against a team that plays as a block and is well positioned, you have to be able to counter attack well, defend well… All of that, all which can bring your team together, it’s a soul; you can’t just decide that it happens; you discover it in those difficult moments. You need hunger, hunger for titles, for play. We’re in our infancy.

Where do players like Sandy Paillot or Romain Beynié stand?
They are guys who need to be out there playing and they have done their time with the reserve squad.

Have you settled on a formation that you will use?
Our formations will change during matches depending on whether we want to hold or go after a result and on the players we have available. We know that Juninho is more at ease in a 4 – 3 – 3 formation. If he is not available, we’ll have to be able to play in a different formation. We are not stuck with one style of play. We’ll be working on all types of formation, so that we know what to do in specific situations.