Claude Puel: "We have to get started"
On Saturday against Valenciennes, do you feel it is imperative to kick start your season, make a fresh start?
Not restart but start. The goal is to be present. There has just been an international break which is always a special time with a lot of questions. I feel the group is well, the players live well together. It is one thing that the dressing room be well, but it must show out on the pitch. Those who stayed here have shown a lot of quality in training, they must now show the same in a match context. We will now be playing every three days, the players prefer it. I know that we will be present.
Have you set a goal of points in view of this series of matches?
To win everything. We have conceded ground in the league. We cannot afford to dawdle on the way, whether it be at Gerland or on our travels. In both cases, we know that we will be faced with large defensive blocks. This is the fate that all the big teams must face. We will play in the same configuration whatever happens.
What do you think of Valenciennes FC?
They have lost key players like Tiéné and Ben Khalfalhah. They still have quality players. At this start to the season, they have alternated good and not so good. They are a team who are very comfortable at set pieces, they hit on the break very quickly and alternate long and short passing. But what interests me most is that we evolve to our level.
Will Jérémy Toulalan move back to the midfield?
There is a good chance. He needs to find serenity, to run around, to be calm and serene. But the environment this season was not conducive to the good expression of his qualities. What is certain is that he is used to playing in the midfield, it is easier for him to express himself and play freely. What he needs to do is to evacuate certain things. He is not looking for revenge, just annoyed not to be playing in his favourite position since the beginning of the season. For me, he can play at the highest level in both positions. Nothing is set in stone.
Does this mean that Pape Diakhaté will start in the centre of defence on Saturday?
He could. He's a very open, very easy going person, who communicates very well. He is a very humane person, he is a leader. He has been accepted very quickly.