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Vieira: “The victory wasn’t stolen”

Interview

February 11, 2019

Vieira: “The victory wasn’t stolen”

In front of the press, Patrick Vieira highlighted the commitment and spirit of his side, who were determined to achieve victory over Olympique Lyonnais (1-0).

Patrick, you reproduced what you did in your first encounter with OL this season!

Yes, we put in a very serious performance. We were put in difficulty in certain moments of the game, but we remained focussed. We had a bit of luck, of course, Walter made 2 or 3 extraordinary stops for us. On the whole, I don’t think that the victory was stolen. We did our best to ride our luck and we were rewarded for our efforts. We were united, we worked well tactically, the players gave their all on the pitch.

You were mainly put in trouble in the first half. Is this due to a lack of defensive effort?

I don’t know if it’s a lack of effort or if it’s the quality of the Lyon players who caused us problems. We really suffered down the wings. Lyon are very quick and have bags of technical quality. We tried to defend better in the second half by allowing them less space. The players were committed, determined and put the effort in together.

This match was night and day with the game last week at Lille. How do you explain that?

A lack of experience, amongst other things. This squad is young. It’s also my role to understand why we struggle to maintain our intensity and commitment. But this evening, they gave me the answer that I wanted after Lille.

You returned to your 4-3-3, what was the reasoning behind that?

We wanted to give ourselves a chance of winning the match. We were at home. We knew that with this trio up-front, we would have chances. We didn’t want to spend 90 minutes defending. We had some good chances in the first quarter of an hour. In terms of intensity, it was a great match.

What was the idea behind taking Myziane off?

He put in huge amounts of effort. He was tired, I wanted to bring on a player who could work more defensively. He worked a lot, like Ganago and Saint-Maximin, we need everyone to work in order to beat a team of Lyon’s level.

“Proud of my players’ commitment”

With 37 points, you are in joint 4th place, close to the podium!
Yes it’s tight. But our objective is to take points here and there, to improve the way we play and the positive results that will follow. We are looking above us, as well as behind us. 

Do you still get the feeling that you are pulling off great things with this young side?

I have always said that I was very happy to work with the squad that I have at my disposal. The thing that makes me most proud is the commitment of my players, their spirit and desire to improve. We can ‘not perform’ in a match, but on a daily basis in training, I have nothing to criticise them for.

Like in the first match, Walter Benitez was the Man of the Match.

Yes, but it’s not only this evening. Since he started to play, he has been extraordinary. We owe a lot of our current league position to him. He is one of the best goalkeepers in the league and I hope that he will have the opportunity to be called up to the national side. On what he has shown in recent months, he deserves to be seen.