Masculins / Lille - OL D -2

Press Conference: Claude Puel

Published on 05 March 2009 at 8:04 PM
What news do you have of John Mensah?
He has a ham-string problem. He’ll be having an examination tomorrow. He will most likely be « out » for our next match. We’ll see how things go for the games after that.

Injuries are starting to become a very serious problem …
Well we have to find ingenious solutions. We’ve been juggling things around for a while now. As far as solutions go we have Gassama, Toulalan, Boumsong, Keita (laughs)… Fabio Santos felt some pain when he started his come back, so he is still out and for a while yet. As far as Clerc and Réveillère are concerned, we’ll see how they get on this weekend. They should normally be playing with the CFA side but I haven’t finalised my decision yet.

Will they be available for the Barcelona game?
No… save a miracle. I’m not ruling anybody out though, we can’t afford to at the minute.

There seemed to be an incident between you and Anthony Réveillère during training. What happened?
An incident, that’s all. We had a slight altercation about some part of the play, which ended up with him returning to the dressing room; these things happen.

How do you see his comeback?
I hope that he gets through everything without any problems. If he does then it is great for him and great for us. He is on a different and quite special road back, I don’t know what the success rate is and there are always little questions. He is following his instructions at the moment and things are going well for the time being: he is taking part in the games, without going in too hard but it’s already great what he is doing with the ball. If he does tackle, he has to go in 100% and be aggressive without being scared, then he’ll be ready to come back. It is the first time I have seen anything like it in the elite.

On Saturday you are playing Lille at the Stade de France. Last year, the prospect didn’t enchant you too much …
It was different, my players were not used to playing at the Stade de France. We played as if we were away from home and were too timid. This time it is a different situation. We are going into a big game with another important match just after it in the Champions League. We have two huge games in a row, that’s all that we are interested in.

Will yesterdays defeat have a bearing on Saturday’s match?
For the moment I don’t know, but when you have been knocked out of a competition, it is difficult to accept, which is normal.

How will you be managing playing time on Saturday?
We’ll see how the match is going, but I haven’t decided anything definitively yet.

Could Karim Benzema be back on Saturday?
If things go as planned. He is still in a little bit of pain, we’ll see if he is at 100%.

How do you explain the fact that OL have conceded goals in stoppage time of their last two matches?
It’s difficult! We’re obviously lacking a little freshness and concentration. One goes hand in hand with the other. We have to tighten things up and focus as far as that is concerned. There have been errors due to lack of concentration recently, not just during the last two matches. It’s a shame as it wipes out the good work put in beforehand.

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