October 14, 2020
Dante: ‘We just can’t wait’
Leading into a crucial period of the season it’s a good time to set out our stall for the matches to come. And who better to do that for us than the captain of Le Gym? Here Dante tells all as we look forward to a decisive fortnight.
Dante, what’s your assessment of our first six games of the season?
I feel like it’s been a positive start from us, because we’ve picked up more than half of the points available. When you look at the fixtures we’ve had, especially away from home, we’ve faced some very tough sides. Strasbourg, Montpellier and Bordeaux are not easy fixtures and we managed to get four points from those three away games. Of course, we would have liked more, and we know we should have done better at Montpellier. We beat both Lens and Nantes at home, games that you have to win really, and we lost against Paris, which is always a very tough game. But overall our start to the season has been good.
What level is the team at right now?
And what can we expect against Saint-Etienne ?
It’s going to be difficult, and it’s up to us to prepare for a real battle. They’re at home and they always bring a lot of intensity, plus they transition from defence to attack very quickly and extremely well. They’ve got some talented players, both going forward and at the back, even though they’ve lost Wesley Fofana of course. We know that it’s up to us to impose our style of play by keeping the ball, but we have to be looking to get forward at all times, creating chances and finishing them. I feel like sometimes our build-up play is good and we get into the final 30 metres, but then we lose the ball and we end getting counterattacked. We need to be fighting for every fifty-fifty, as well as every first and second ball.
What is the mindset going into this tough period, which also includes a Europa League campaign?
When Le Gym got knocked out in Moscow, did you believe it would be your last European cup game?
(Smiles) No I didn’t, because it hurt me to even think about it. I promised myself I would do everything in my power to qualify again. Now we’ve done it and I’m so happy for everyone, for the club, the team and the fans. We’re back in Europe and now we just can’t wait to get going. It is true, though, that whenever you’re knocked out of a competition you love, you can end up thinking about what might have been… But I preferred to just move on and think positively. That’s just how I am – and now here we are!