PSG is entering an important new week with the reception of Montpellier at the Parc, that of Manchester City and a trip to Rennes. Satisfied with the state of mind of his troops, Mauricio Pochettino however wishes to see them show more regularity in order to take shelter earlier in the matches. The Argentinian also defends Kylian Mbappé, criticized for having too much room for Messins on Wednesday night.
PSG come out of two victories at the last minute. Even if everything is not perfect in the game, had you targeted the mental aspect of your team?
Mauricio Pochettino. When you win two games in a row at the last minute, it means the team is showing resilience, showing mental qualities. As a trainer, we prefer to make a difference before. We had opportunities in the first twenty minutes but we left the score open. We watched the game again and things are improving. I am very satisfied with the state of mind.
Can Messi be present against Manchester City?
He started running today (Friday). We hope that the evolution will be good in the coming days and that he can be with us. It is possible that he is present. We have to be careful.
Are you satisfied with the role of Mauro Icardi at the forefront?
He suffered from a collarbone injury. He is coming back little by little. He was very important in scoring against Lyon and he brings a lot of things.
How do you judge Angel Di Maria’s start to the season?
He is suspended for the Champions League (Editor’s note: two more meetings). He arrived late after the Copa America. He is a player of immense quality who brings a lot to the team. It can be integrated into several systems. We have to find the point of equilibrium.
Does the match against Manchester City influence the preparation of Montpellier?
We need to win, to keep improving. The next game does not matter. We think of the group on Saturday, of the players who will be able to be present and continue the series of victories.
How do you observe the incidents which have multiplied among supporters in recent weeks?
It is a difficult situation for the coaches. I cannot give my opinion or allow myself to give advice. There are officials, the government, for security. We hope that all this will not be repeated more. It is up to the government, the LFP and the Federation to take measures to avoid this type of situation.
What do you think of the words of Frédéric Antonetti, coach of Metz, about the refereeing and the attitude of Kylian Mbappé?
I understand Fred’s anger after the game. This is something normal. Statements are made. They are after a game lost in the 94th minute. I can understand. Kylian is a wonderful boy. He’s a competitive player. These are events that take place on the ground. We can’t take that out of context either. It’s a game, there’s a lot going on. It doesn’t describe Kylian’s real personality. If there’s one thing Kylian has, it’s humility.
How do you explain your team’s difficulties in the second half of the last few games?
Lyon, Bruges, Metz… The team has always started well. We score quickly in two out of three games. We were able to show some good football sequences during this period. But we are still missing something to score a second or third goal. It’s not physical because the team is strong. But it is a question of regularity.
What analysis do you make of Montpellier, your opponent on Saturday?
Montpellier is a team that has lost two of its best players with Delort and Laborde. But she continues to score a lot of goals. She’s working a bit more in the game this season. It has quality. Beyond the transition phases, there is patience in the construction of the game. Like others in Ligue 1, the team offers an interesting game, with variations between quick attacks and transitions.
Ander Herrera plays a lot. What is his character and his role in the group?
If we look at the data, the top players, who score, are those who were present since the start of the summer preparation, like Gueye, Herrera… Ander is an experienced player, who has had several championships. It’s a crack, yes. A top player with great humility. He is at the service of the group. He trains 100%. That he plays, does not play, it is important for the team. He has a great state of mind. He has scored a lot since the start of the season and brings us some important points.