Juninho: "Anthony is a mentally strong person but I sometimes feel he can be affected by criticism"
Juni, we've entered an important week leading up to the derby. How do you feel about the team and the players ahead of this important meeting?
It’s always special. The derbies remain a match apart for all Lyonnais. We can’t wait to go there but we will have to prepare well for this match. Sunday, we dropped three points and this defeat is in a way a reminder for the whole team. We were on an incredible unbeaten streak and the players have shown great things over the last few matches. But in football everything goes very quickly and you have to constantly ask the best of yourself. Against Metz, we missed a great chance but I remain convinced that this poor performance can serve us well for the rest of the season.
The Metz goal, coming at the very end of the match, must have hurt...
Yes that's certain. We could have had a point in the event of a draw even if, as always, we try to win all our matches. But quite frankly, it's nothing to be alarmed about. I do regret that we conceded a goal at the very end of the game, as in my opinion, Anthony has not been playing as he usually has.
Do you think the recent criticism is working against him?
Yes, Anthony is a mentally strong person but I sometimes feel he can be affected. It can be tough on him. This is not the first time that he has been attacked -- it's something that's continued. Anthony has always taken responsibility for his mistakes but currently there is no debate about his leaving. No player is immune to criticism. I know Anthony very well, this criticism does not correspond to the reality of the player and the man. We are doing everything at the club to ensure that he is not upset. We all support him but I think this sort of talk can influence not only his performances but also the refereeing decisions."