Rudi Garcia: "We are more motivated than ever"
"We will have neither Djamel Benlmari, who came back injured from international duty, nor Houssem Aouar. We will not take any risk with the latter. It's muscular. We expect to know more with testing. "
The international break
“We only had six or seven players leave. Léo Dubois came home late last night. We won't be able to work with the whole squad until tomorrow. Neither the Americans nor most of the Africans left. We were able to work differently and that's good. The first week was based on establishing continuity in our fitness. All of our energy is going to be focused on the goal of finishing the season better. We then worked more normally as the match approached. Everyone is going to be affected by this. The team showed a lot of energy. The week was excellent… Islam Slimani scored. Memphis has played three matches but didn't play a lot in the last one. After the break, you have to manage those who have traveled.”
Is the loss to Paris still in mind?
“We are disappointed with how we started the match against PSG. Losing to a team at their maximum strength can happen. The hunger to do well in the last eight matches is there. The players aren't lacking in intensity. We want to finish as well as possible. We are more motivated than ever I think… I would have done better without Denayer and Memphis leaving but they had some matches with their countries waiting for them. I think they are smart. They know that."
The fight at the top of the table
“It’s very important for us to win with this match between PSG and Lille. It's primordial. We have to look ahead, chase these two teams. There are no more chances for relaxation. The key will be to do more, until the end of the season and across the same match. We have something very important to play for this season, such as a place in the Champions League and the Coupe de France. I will be very careful that everyone gives the best of themselves. When one is tired, it is in his best interest to say so and be substituted, even if the decision can also come from the sidelines. We will be able to call on the whole squad."
The key to the match against Lens?
" It's us. We have to develop our game, be more solid throughout the match. We will do our best to be complete, exacting in our play and consistent. We will be determined to win against a quality opponent. We are playing a challenging team, which masters the game very well. They are an energetic, aggressive team. They prevents you from building play. They deserves to be in fifth place. They are doing well right now."
Experience for the run-in
“Mattia De Sciglio and Marcelo are players who have won before. It’s important to finish the season strong. You have to breathe, sleep and eat OL with the goal of winning. We all have to be able to put in a big effort. It will be time to play the Euros or to rest after the season. We have a little less than two months left. There are no more breaks. We have to seize the moment. We have to use all the tools at our disposal, especially considering what is going on with the women's team. We must preserve our bubble to have all our strength. This, too can play a role. We must not lose players for health reasons. The atmosphere in the squad is very important. The players are all pulling in the same direction, that's good. The group is getting on well. We must seize these moments and look for an additional boost."
The partnership of Marcelo and Denayer
“Marcelo is one of the pillars of this team. He is experienced. I had asked the directors to be able to count on him in the future. It's hard to find a player of this quality. His extension is very good news. He still has a few years ahead of him. He is a model teammate. He has a team spirit in his blood. Jason Denayer is also an important player. We also want to develop Diomande. Benlamri has come to strengthen us and Andersen is still under contract."
The president's visit to the players
“We talk to him a lot. He has incredible experience in terms of management. When he speaks, it is always useful. He is precise, concise. He is first among the presidents. It’s necessary to recognize someone who is this brilliant, this talented. He has had many big moments with the club and he is able to pass this on to the players."