Thiago Mendes: "I needed confidence"
His return to form
“I do my job, I do what Rudi Garcia asks me to do. I'm giving my all in training to earn my place in the team. I am also avoiding being carded so as to be as available as possible for the team. It was a year of adaptation last season, I was hoping for better. I did not live up to my expectations. It was a big transfer. I should have shown more in the first season, for myself, for the club and for the fans… I don't mean as a sense of relief, it's just a reward for the work I do. I have the coach's confidence and I needed that. I just want to help the team now… When things aren't going very well, we can think about a departure, I'm not going to lie. I chatted with my wife and thought about it. But I told myself that the president and Juninho had given me all their confidence. I had to give joy to the fans of the club."
The trip to Lille
“We're going to Lille to win. We are also thinkinf a little about the derby. We just have to win these two matches. We managed to win our last two games, that's the most important thing, not possession. The tactics worked and that’s what matters. We think of winning every game regardless of possession, that's what we want."
Competition in midfield
“We all work together every day. The coach chooses the best eleven for the matches. Competition is obviously there but it is healthy. The important thing is to be available to the coach and the team."
The lack of Champions League football
“It's very tough to watch the other teams play in this competition during the week. It’s a sad feeling, especially after our run this summer. We were still playing in it a few weeks ago. We must do everything now to get a place in the Champions League… I know this team even if the players are different compared to my time there. They are going well right now. We should not give them chances. The coach (Christophe Galtier) does not let opponents play. There will be a lot of pressure. We will have to play well with but also do well without the ball."
“He had a difficult time this summer, it's sad to lose a member of his family. He is now over that. He's got football back and he's helping us a lot right now."
“He came back very well, he's improving, he runs a lot. You can see it every day. He is a fundamental part of the team."