Restart the machine and put the points back on the i’s. A week after the setback conceded to Nantes (3-1) on the occasion of the most spectacular match in which it has undoubtedly participated this season, PSG will aim to get back on the path to success this Saturday evening against Saint -Etienne. A mission that the Ligue 1 leader will have to fulfill without Sergio Ramos (calf), Leandro Paredes (adductors), Marco Verratti (suspended), Ander Herrera, Layvin Kurzawa (back pain) and Edouard Michut, all three absent from the last workout Friday.
But a challenge, recalled Mauricio Pochettino this Friday at a press conference, on the ropes of a PSG which will be led by a trio Messi – Neymar – Mbappé in progress despite the second setback of the season conceded in Ligue 1 on Last weekend.
Do the injured list and the suspensions complicate how to prepare for the next meetings, especially the one against Real?
MAURICIO POCHETTINO. We are a technical staff, we put excuses aside. We have enough staff to deal with this type of situation. Of course I would like to have them all.
Do you fear that Verratti will be severely punished after his exit on the referees?
I hope common sense will prevail and there will be understanding. A player, at the end of the game, can sometimes make inappropriate statements. I hope he doesn’t get a big penalty. I liked that many of my colleagues talked about a unification of criteria. It is good that there is a discussion between the people of French football to make it progress. We can make positive reviews so that French referees can work in better conditions and are at the best possible level.
Are you worried that Kylian Mbappé, who will be suspended at Nice, will lack rhythm for the trip to Real Madrid?
Kylian is a player who plays regularly and consistently. The fact of not playing the previous match will allow him to keep freshness to have a good match in Madrid.
What is your reaction following the appointment of Paris (Stade de France) for the Champions League final?
It is an additional excitement and motivation that the final is played at the Stade de France. We participated in a final, it is an extraordinary motivation. It makes me want to participate again. But there is a lot of work before thinking about that.
Are you aware of what a final in Paris can represent for the supporters?
No, because it is still only a possibility. But, for our supporters, playing in Paris or in another city, the dream is first of all to see us in the final. There it would be in Paris, but the joy would be the same anywhere else.
We have the impression that Nuno Mendes has been gaining momentum since the start of the year. At only 19, are there areas of his game in which he surprises you and, conversely, others in which he still needs to improve?
He arrived on the last day of the transfer market. He has great potential and enormous room for improvement. We only see part of what he can do. He is endowed with mental maturity and real physical strength. But he has to improve everywhere. He has a big mind for a 19-year-old player. He has the ability to release stress regardless of the competition. If he continues on this path, he is destined to be one of the best in his position.
Are you frustrated at not being able to use Sergio Ramos anymore?
The one who suffers the most and who is the most frustrated is Sergio. We try to help him in the best possible way. We have a large medical service to help him get him back on his feet and find solutions. We can help him psychologically and give him moral support. It’s always difficult to be an unavailable player, not to be able to be with your partners, day to day and in competition. The connection is more difficult, not being able to coexist with your partners to have a clear role.
Paris only scored one goal against Nantes but created a lot of chances. How to solve this problem of efficiency?
I don’t care, I don’t care. We worry when we don’t have chances. There, we have players with the talent and the qualities to create it. I have no doubt that the team is full of great players and will create plenty of chances.
Pascal Dupraz, the coach of Saint-Etienne, told his players: “If we come to Paris to exchange shirts with Neymar, Messi and Mbappé, I’m not coming. » What inspires you?
It’s normal, it’s a way to motivate his players. The message is above all that Saint-Etienne will come to compete. I too have been in clubs where we had to raise our level of play. I expect a difficult game. It’s a team in difficulty, they will impose a difficult match on us. We will have to be at the level to compete.
Is it possible from a balance point of view to align Di Maria, Neymar, Messi and Mbappé at the same time?
We’ve been talking about this since the beginning of the year. Here we are in March, it would be a bit boring for you and everyone to answer that.
What makes Danilo almost become an essential starter?
His professionalism, his commitment, he works hard, has the feeling of belonging to a group, works for his partners, not for himself, shows humility. These are the qualities that come to me to describe Danilo. Beyond his performance, there are also his tactical abilities. He is always available for the team, whatever the situation.