Rudi Garcia: "We must give joy to the people"
The current state of affairs
“It's a good thing that Ligue 1 is continuing. This period is difficult and sad. It’s a bit ridiculous to talk about football when the virus is on the rise, terrorism is rife. But people need to be able to think of something else. It can be another thing upon which to focus even if it is football in empty stadiums. We must be aware that football is a spectacle, especially when the stadiums are full. We must give joy to the people, to those who love sport and those who support a team. It is an obligation for this common passion of ours. We have been in the same health protocol from the start. We have two or even three tests a week, but it's justified. The players are reminded of the measures with the masks and social distancing... The young people at the center will be left alone until Monday. We hope that we can continue to train them for the future. The authorities will deal with this subject. There is no one right answer."
“We'll see if Jason Denayer is back. We won't take any risks. He is improving as expected. Melvin Bard is suspended for this game."
The trip to Lille
“They haven't lost since the start of the season even though they are on a run of two draws. They have a large squad. This gives them a lot of possibilities for rotation. This is a quality side, qualified for European play. They have been recruiting well for a few years now. It’s no coincidence that they are at the top of the table. We want to get back to the top ourselves. It’s not a decisive match as there are a lot of points to be earned. We have shown that we can be effective. I hope we will win even though it is always difficult to go to Lille. LOSC have been performing for a while. I keep this club in my heart. I think they would have been in the Champions League with us if the season hadn't ended. They're a difficult opponent but that doesn't change our ambitions. It is also necessary to do well against direct competitors. We have dropped too many points against the other teams. "
Mendes and the competition in midfield
“I am close to the players, and the competition must be healthy. We must also show that those who play and win must be able to keep their place. This is not a general rule because there is quality. We are lucky to have a lot of players in this sector of the team -- it's a plus. The difficulty in not playing Europe is that you have to keep everyone involved. The squad is rich in depth. I have to make the right choices to win for the team and in that I won't please some. Thiago Mendes deserves to be in the eleven. He has worked hard. He has a very good long passing game, he has a good mental level. He’s certainly the most defensive midfielder. In a team, you always need a balance and Tiago brings it to us."
“Having possession is an unnecessary debate. The main thing is to win. We had it at the start of the season and we weren't winning. You have to have a team that can do everything. And I think ours is capable of doing anything."
" I am not surprised. He is doing what he said he would, that's good. He needed time after his long injury layoff. He started a lot in the Champions League but didn't have 90 minutes in him. He contributed a lot when he was on the pitch. At the start of the season, we were hoping he could do what he is doing right now. He is very good. He plays his role as captain. This is important for a coach."
“We are close to him. Losing a loved one is the most difficult in life. The word courage only applies at such times. He is a quality player who has a good sense of the game. He is a hard worker. The wide players are there to work on the flanks but very often play in the center. It depends on what you want them to do. "
The lack of Champions League football
“We miss this competition. The only goal we have is to get back to it. To do this this, we must continue our run in Lille."