Rudi Garcia: "I am convinced that we will move back up"
“Melvin Bard will be absent. He returned from the selection with a calf injury. There are uncertainties related to Covid. We will see how this evolves. We hope to recover some of them among Lopes, Caqueret, Dubois, and Pollersbeck. We don't have a designated third-choice goalkeeper. Malcolm Barcola is the one who would play in goal if the others are unavailable. The new arrivlas will be in the squad, although Djamel Benlamri and Mattia De Sciglio can't play 90 minutes."
Looking back at the mercato
“The most important thing is to do what you can with what you have. You have to give yourself a goal. Ours is to get out of 14th place, which is not worthy of OL and get back on the podium… We lost Martin Terrier and Betrand Traoré from the attacking sector. There are not players than before. I love players who work with the ball, like Lucas Paqueta. He's a player I'm learning about. I had followed his good start in Italy. He is a creative, generous player who works for the team and is ready to get stuck in. He will fit into the team - I have no worries. I can speak Italian with him, it's a real asset to be able to interact with him. Mattia de Sciglio is technically and mentally a cut above -- it shows straight away. Djamel Benlamri is a warrior and we see that in training. We need it. The group needs to be in this state of mind. We also need a collective hunger to recover the ball."
The start to the season
“We're not looking for an excuse. We should be placed higher. It’s our fault, and mine first. Apart from the first half against Lorient, we have been good. But this is not enough. It's up to us to show it on the pitch and it starts on Sunday. I have complete confidence in this team. I am convinced that we will move back up the table -- the president is right to put the pressure on, that is his role. We didn't wait to apply it. We know we are not where we should be."
The match at Strasbourg
“We will have to put together a winning run but before that we will already have to win in a difficult place to go against a team who don't have a lot of points but who will play to take them. We must not lose our confidence. Our level of play and the statistics prove it, they are good. We may be lacking efficiency, but we are looking for solutions. You have to be more clinical in front of the goal. We are well ahead in all the offensive statistics. But in terms of shots on target we are 17th. We have worked in this area in training. It also takes a little bit of luck to not hit the woodwork and have success with VAR. It’s up to us and no one else to do it… Strasbourg are an athletic team with a good coach. It’s always difficult to go there. We are lacking points. You have to get some on the road. We will have to deal with particular points of Strasbourg's style such as their energy and physical play. We have the right ideas and we are working on them in training. "
“Bruno Guimararaes is suspended for a yellow card he received last season. I can't find any common sense in this. In this time of COVID, wouldn't it be smarter if suspensions were postponed to keep teams competitive? We have to adapt the rules."
“I spoke with a lot of players who were in demand because I had mathces to play. Everyone has assured me that they are 100% with the club and able to give their all. I was sure, but these are challenging situations. It's good that it was the captain who gave the press conference. I have no doubt that the players who are here will not be upset by this transfer window which has been too long."
A return to playing behind closed doors
“I hope I don't say you get used to it. We are professionals. We must disregard this situation. We showed in Lisbon that we were able to manage it well. But I can't wait to get back to seeing Groupama Stadium full, like against Juventus or in the derby. We want to return to that. The most important thing is that play continues even if it is not the same. "