The LOSC coach has long confided in the objective of winning the title of champion of France but also on his reflection on his future and the possibility of a departure.
Aiming for the title, “it’s my biggest challenge” as a coach: Christophe Galtier told AFP about the exciting end of the season that awaits Lille, leader of L1 before facing Metz on Friday (9:00 p.m.), judging that the inconstancy of Paris SG “gives hope” to the other contenders.
How did you manage to re-mobilize your players to clinch the convincing victory last Saturday in Paris (1-0)?
Christophe Galtier: The last internationals came home on Thursday and I started talking to the players right away when the squad was reconstituted. I hesitated to come back to the Nîmes match (2-1 defeat at home before the break, Editor’s note) and finally I decided to do it, being very calm but showing them pictures because it speaks to them. Then we talked about the game plan and the extra soul needed for this kind of match.
Is this capacity for conviction your greatest strength?
It would be too pretentious to think that this performance is linked only to a talk or to my interventions. There is especially what the players put in the game. The coach is a trainer. He must give all the keys to the players to bring them in the best conditions to the match. But performance is up to the players. And although it is often blamed on the coach, I try to instill in the players that the underperformance is theirs too.
Is it the collective that made the difference in Paris?
We exist this season, even more than the previous two, thanks to a very large collective, with surely a little less individual talent than the three other teams fighting for the title (Paris, Lyon and Monaco). If we don’t have this collective, we can’t fight with all three. And that’s what we didn’t have against Nîmes. The defeats are very similar. Faced with Brest, Nîmes and Angers, the first periods were a disaster because there was less investment, less demand.
“We must not let go. We must give ourselves every chance. (…) The main thing is to have no regrets ”
What are the keys to make it through to the end?
To be ourselves, to have the collective spirit, to put the team first. Not to be focused on the result, not to be obsessed with the result. The requirement is essential, we do not have the right to the slightest relaxation.
Is this the biggest challenge of your coaching career?
Yes, this is my biggest challenge. This rarely occurs in a career. On the 31st day, we are first with three, four and five points ahead of the other three teams. It’s not a lot because there are 7 games and 21 points to take, but it’s there. If we got there, it’s because we have a certain strength, a certain quality. We must not let go. We must give ourselves every chance. (…) The main thing is to have no regrets.
“Paris has the best squad. But it is clear that they have lost eight times. It’s a lot and it gives hope to all the teams that face them ”
Is Paris still the favorite for the title?
Paris has the best workforce. But it is clear that they have lost eight times. That’s a lot and it gives hope to all the teams that face them, not just the direct competitors. ”
Does your future depend on the end result this season?
Not at all. But it won’t necessarily be decided before the end of the season because I have to stay focused on the goal. (…) Obviously, I know that a qualification in the Champions League is important for the club but I am not thinking about the workforce that would be at my disposal next year. I am not one of those coaches who ask for guarantees. It is just necessary that the objectives are in adequacy with the means. We will sit quietly with President Olivier Létang, we will take stock but there is no rush to be had. (…) There is no weariness at all, I do not feel very good here. But I don’t think I will be seven or eight years old like in Saint-Etienne. “
“Four or five years ago, I wanted to go abroad. Less now ”
You are 54 years old. Is training abroad a goal?
Four or five years ago, I wanted to go abroad. Less now. Today, that’s not necessarily what I’m looking for. If I had to go abroad, I always said that the English championship made me dream. They made a neighborhood championship the most beautiful championship in the world. There is such passion!