“When you are at PSG, you are always under pressure”, swears Galtier before OM and a “very exciting” month of February

“When you are at PSG, you are always under pressure”, swears Galtier before OM and a “very exciting” month of February

The Parisian coach takes stock this Tuesday before facing OM on Wednesday (9:10 p.m.), in the round of 16.

Galtier back… at his home in Marseille : «When I arrived at PSG, I knew very well that there would be matches against OM. We have already done one at the Parc des Princes. There, it’s at the Velodrome. I am going to completely disregard the fact that I was born in Marseille, that I am from Marseille, that I played for OM. I am the coach of PSG. I know what these matches represent. It’s not a classic round of 16. It’s an OM-PSG confrontation. I made sure to close all the “arrivals”, on my mobile or on a family plan in order to stay focused on the preparation for the match, what we will have to do in the match and the qualification.»

Who in the goals of PSG : «I will not give the name of the goalkeeper who will start, but the goalkeepers are aware of my decision.»

The most exciting month of his coaching career… or not : «You can see it like this. I hadn’t thought of that, but listening to the question… It’s been a very exciting month. I had very compact periods with very important matches in my previous clubs, but as a PSG coach, with very important objectives, an obligation of result, great exposure, the calendar looks like this. If I am under pressure during this month of February? No. When you are the PSG coach, you are under pressure from the moment you sign your contract, with this obligation of result. But it’s true that it’s a month with a lot of challenges. We will play in the three competitions, the championship, but also this Coupe de France and the double confrontation against Bayern which is eagerly awaited by everyone. It’s a month of February with a lot of challenges and expectations. If the season really starts now? I don’t join you on that. My season started a long time ago.»

We will have to resist the pressure from OM.

Christophe Galtier

State of mind against OM : «We have a lot of players who have had matches against OM and others who have had great matches in other leagues with so much exposure and opponents who put you under pressure. I have a lot of experience in my squad. We will have to be ourselves, raise our level of play, be very good technically and have the ability to play under pressure from an opponent. Since the arrival of Igor Tudor, OM have pressed a lot and hunted everywhere. It will be necessary to resist this pressure, not to release the ball, to have as often as possible the ball in the feet in order to benefit from the spaces which will arise. We have these characteristics in the team. Regarding the context, all my players have experienced this kind of match…»

The management of emotions : «Its very important. Afterwards, it also comes with experience, the fact that we have already played this kind of match, not having any surprises. I very often remind my players that it’s ultimately 11 against 11. We’re not playing against 50 or 60,000 spectators. I tell them very often that we start at 11 and that we have to finish at 11, not to get carried away by disputes, a bad gesture, regroupings because it’s the match of the year for a lot of world. You have to have a cool head. I never ask them to be quiet, when you’re quiet you sleep. Simply, to have a lot of lucidity, a cool head. Above all, everyone must play with their qualities.»

The French Cup : «It’s the finest of trophies because it brings together all the footballers of France, the amateur world and the professional world. The history of the Coupe de France is also the adventures of what is called little Thumb, who goes to the semi-finals, even the final, who can even win it. This is the only time when amateur footballers can play against professionals. It’s also historic. Because of what it represents, it is a magnificent trophy.»

Donnarumma has always been happy in the locker room and on the pitch.

Christophe Galtier

Donnarumma freed after Navas leaves : «No, he didn’t need to be. Things were very clear between Gigio, Keylor and me on the hierarchy in the goalkeeper position. If I told you that he was released, that would mean that Keylor didn’t do the job well, that he didn’t behave well. However, Keylor behaved very well during the first six months of the season. He obviously wanted to play, he was focused on the World Cup and wanted to leave to play, he is passionate about the game. He did not accept the situation. But their behavior in training has always been exemplary, there has never been a problem between them or with Sergio Rico and Alexandre Letellier. Number 2 became Sergio Rico. The guards get along well. I haven’t been careful to see if Gigio is happier now than before… He’s always been happy in the locker room and on the pitch.»

Warren Zaire-Emery : «He is a young boy, but he has a certain maturity compared to his age. Without jeopardizing the result of the match, it seemed important to me, after the episode of Reims and that instead of clearing the ball he wanted to restart properly (which led to the equalization of the Rémois, editor’s note). It’s also the DNA of PSG… It seemed important to me that he quickly regain his feelings in a match. This is also why he returned against Montpellier. He is a very attentive player, very observant, but who has a personality that leads him to take initiatives. Against Reims, there was this unfortunate revival, but against Montpellier there was his decision-making, he went all the way (to score the third Parisian goal). Surely another player would have looked for the pass at his age… He went for the third goal with great determination. He is very close to the level of our confirmed midfielders… Very, very close.»

El Chadaille Bitshiabu : «If he can start against OM? It is a very big potential with a lot of lucidity, clairvoyance. He is very close to the level of our defenders. Against Toulouse, he is very unhappy on his first interception. It costs him a young card. It’s very hard for a young player to take a card in a row, especially when you concede a goal on this free kick… You would have thought that it would be complicated for this young boy at that time. And in fact, he played a very good match. Looking back at the game, you can’t imagine he’s 17… He has maturity in the game, a mastery of events and emotions. He can obviously start against OM and other matches.»

Statements taken at a press conference

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