OLNS: The Best of Juninho
The match against Nice
We are even more disappointed because Lens drew against Monaco. At halftime, we were leading. We almost had the game in hand. Unfortunately we lost. We ended up in fourth place; it's a shame, but unfortunately it makes sense.
His response to Rudi Garcia
First of all, I was surprised. I knew he was going to do something like this because that's his character. He chose an experienced journalist and the statement looks like it was prepared a long time ago. It's a long interview, but I don't feel like I'm being betrayed. We are betrayed by friends, and we worked together as professionals. One of the problems I had with Rudi was the different ways he treated players in the locker room. He was strong with the weak, and weak with the strong. It was creating problems in the locker room and the players came to see me. Rudi Garcia wanted to loan out Jean Lucas because he didn't play him, we didn't necessarily agree on that. He was complaining that he wasn't progressing tactically, and I thought maybe it was his fault. He took some things personally but the player had nothing to do with it. Eventually he was loaned out, maybe I insisted too much but I have the right to ask questions. I think he has a lack of self-confidence. It also bothered him, my way of behaving with the players and the rest of the staff. During the transfer window, it's true I didn't let him choose the players. But that's my role, I made my choices. Paqueta, for example, I made the effort to bring him in. He wasn't necessarily used to this; he likes to impose his choices and that is understandable. But I have defended Rudi on several occasions, it was not necessarily easy but he was doing a good job.
The team's search for a manager
We are working on bringing in a big profile to be the coach, I do not want to go too far but I hope we will manage to complete this exercise as quickly as possible. Recruitment is a real challenge. Fans will always have the feeling that we have missed someone. We need players who can hit the ground running, who can withstand the pressure. We also need wide players, we used Kadewere there but it wasn't necessarily his position. We will work on the squad, we know what we need but there is a whole club and organization to think of. It’s not enough to just write checks and buy players, it’s not that easy. There is also the current financial crisis which will impact the next transfer window. If we could have a slightly larger squad, that would be great. We already have a good base of players.
The club's ambitions
I think we have to target the semifinals of the Europa League, we have a great team. We will play in three competitions, Ligue 1 which is our bread and butter and which always remains a goal. We haven't been champions since 2008 and the supporters are very ambitious. We have made two semifinals in the Champions League, one in the Europa League. We have the ambition to go far, we will have to have a winning mindset for next season. It will be necessary to see with the next manager what is necessary to go far in these three competitions.
Playing football after finishing his career
It's been five years since I've played football, I lost the desire. Since I ended my career, I may have played twice. I tried other things, it was my brain looking for a new passion. I lost the urge, a lot of players are like that after retiring. I played in a lot of competitions but it's more of the same.