October 6, 2019
P. Vieira: “We lacked aggressiveness”
Patrick Vieira spoke to the journalists gathered at his press conference after Le Gym’s defeat at Nantes (1-0).
Coach, what was missing this evening?
We lacked the most important in football: aggressiveness, both in attack and in defence. From that point on, it’s difficult to hope for something, to be dangerous. This evening, they wanted to go out and get this victory more than we did. This is what frustrates me. We didn’t take enough risks to go and play a bit further forward. When defending, we lost too many second balls, lots of duels.
Is aggressiveness something that is difficult to change?
We need to continue to insist upon it. We try to play football the right way, to be well set up. But that’s not enough, you need a lot more. This evening, we weren’t good enough in too many areas of the pitch to be able to hope to get the three points. Nantes were very well organised, a lot more determined than us, better in so many areas. They are a team that can go very far.
Do you get the feeling that you made some mistakes with your choices this evening?
When you don’t win, there are always people who will ask questions about the choices that we were able to make. I don’t regret them. But then, of course we can always do better.
But there were some good things from your side in the first half...
It was in the second half that we weren’t good. We played with the handbrake on, we were scared to go for it, to take risks. We made lots of backwards passes, we could have found players between the lines a lot earlier. It made us drop deeper, doubt ourselves and it gave them a bit more confidence and they scored at the end.
“The squad will learn and continue to improve”
What did you make of Walter Benitez’s performance?
I have always said that he is one of the best goalkeepers in L1. He showed it once again tonight. He is calm, settled. He gives the team a lot of confidence and this evening, he had a very good game.
Do you think that Le Gym generally lacks character?
It’s a young squad, which still lacks personalty and experience. We are restless in the tougher moments. It was very complicated last week, very complicated again today. But once again, this squad will learn and continue to improve, because the lads are working well.
Last year, you were winning games in the way that Nantes did this evening...
We always have an ambitious game. We lack a bit of luck, but the philosophy of the club doesn’t change; we want to attack, create chances and to make the opposition doubt themselves. This evening, we were too scared to take risks. This lack of initiative and aggressiveness really frustrates me.
Kasper Dolberg seems to be struggling away from home. Do you share this view?
Kasper is also lacking support. The ball doesn’t come quickly enough and we make poor choices. But Kasper has only just arrived and physically, he isn’t quite there yet, we need to give him the time to adapt. I am not worried. Alexis Claude-Maurice? He had a slight issue with his knee when he arrived, he needs to understand the system. He will be an important player for us.
How would you analyse your first nine games of L1?
In terms of points, we could have more, in the same way as we could also have less. The squad still has huge scope to improve. We need to continue to work, to encourage the players to take more risks and to be more ambitious in what they do. It’s a question of confidence, getting used to each other, and hard work. It’s down to me to find the right formula. But this squad will continue to progress. We will do much better, I am sure of that.