Nabil Fekir: "I'm going to Saint-Etienne to win again"
How are you feeling these first days of 2019?
Good, frankly. The health is there, I'm training and working well.
You had an amazing 2018. It'll be tough to match it this year...
It will be hard, yes (laughs). There was the World Cup win and making it through to the Champions League Round of 16. It's true that it was a very good year.
Have you had any difficulties getting back to competition after the World Cup?
No, because we didn't really have time to enjoy it, it happened quickly. The holidays were short, you had to go straight back to work.
How would you judge your first half of the season?
Honestly, average. I know I can do better. I've been very inconsistent, there have been matches where I was good and others, less. But it's like that, it's football. We can't give up, we must continue working. When times get tough, you have to put twice as much effort and it'll eventually happen. The failed transfer to Liverpool? It's part of a player's life and career. It's football. You have to know how to get back to work to be successful. The critics? They' don't matter to me. I'm used to it, it's not the first time I've been criticized."
You always show up in big matches. What memories do you have of the 5-0 win at the Geoffroy Guichard and your brace?
It remains one of my best memories at OL. We all know the importance of the derby. To win it that way and over there was really great. My brace remains engraved in my memory.
What are your thoughts on what happened after you celebrated with your jersey?
It wasn't planned. There were some consequences that I regret, for sure. I didn't want that to happen, but it's football. But I don't regret my gesture, it was beautiful. We won't be ashamed.
What type of reception are you expecting at the Geoffroy-Guichard ?
Nothing. We know it's an important game and they may be thinking about [my celebration], but I'll go there to win again... It's motivating of course. We want to do things well and play a great match.
A great match against a direct opponent in the standings and more…
Yes, they're doing well. It will be a decisive match and I hope we win.
Are you surprised to be competing for the podium with teams like Saint-Etienne, Lille and Montpellier?
No, they are good teams and play well with the ball. There is quality in Ligue 1, so don't forget that it will be tight until the end... Monaco, Marseille? Every team goes through tough times. There are clubs like Marseille where it lasts a little bit less because the fans are very demanding... These are teams with experienced players who will manage to get over it. Secondplace is our goal. Even if Marseille and Monaco were successful, this would also be the case. The second half of the season is long, so we'll see.