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Team 02 October 2021, 16:35

Aurélien Tchouameni: "We are continuing to work to improve our strength"

Aurélien Tchouameni: "We are continuing to work to improve our strength"
Selected for the second time for the French team this week, to play in the Nations League finals, the Monegasque midfielder spoke with the press on the eve of facing the club where he made his professional debut.

He again delivered a high class performance this Thursday against Real Sociedad. Called up on the same day by Didier Deschamps’ France for the final phase of the  Nations League, Aurélien Tchouameni expressed his pride in speaking with the media. On the eve of a match against his training club, Girondins de Bordeaux, at the Stade Louis-II (kick-off Sunday 3pm), the Rouge et Blanc midfielder also spoke about AS Monaco’s good form.

How he learned about his selection

I was preparing for the match against Real Sociedad. I cut my nap a bit short, let’s say, because I knew what time the squad list was going to be announced. So I learned it live in front of the television. Until the manager reveals the squad, you can never be sure. I wasn’t necessarily more confident this time around compared to my first, so there is always a sense of excitement.

On his new responsibilities as an international

I know there has been a higher sense of expectation around me. But my status hasn’t necessarily changed. The coach gives me instructions in the same way as before. I just know I have more responsibilities now. I try to stay the same, not to change the way I am. I approach games the same way. I play according to the coach’s demands and what is good for the team. When I’m with Monaco, I try to think as little as possible about France. Being an international is a different status but at a young age, I still have a lot to learn.

The importance of the Bordeaux match

All  matches are important to win, but it’s all the more important to win before the international break, because you can have a little more of relaxing break. We did it in Troyes before the September break, so we’ll try to do the same against Bordeaux on Sunday.

On the two victories against Bordeaux last season

Honestly, we performed well against this team last season. But there have been a lot of changes since then at  Bordeaux, so it won’t really change the way we prepare for the game. We are focused on the goal of getting all three points.

His thoughts on his training club

I learned a lot there. Every time I play against this team, it’s bound to be a bit special. I grew up, became a man in Bordeaux and I thank everyone who has helped me to become the player and the man I am today.

On the evolution of his play

I think in terms of consistency, whether it’s during games or even in certain periods, I’m more consistent compared to my beginnings here or even at the start of last season. As the coach said, I am a curious person and I often ask questions, to constantly improve myself, to progress, whether it’s with the club or playing fo my country. Do I usually take notes? If I showed you my phone, you would see some things. But it’s personal. (smiles)

The desire to record a clean sheet

I think as the games go by we have become more and more solid, more consistent, defensively and  even in front of goal. As you know there are new players who have arrived, and others have not had a full preseason. We are impatiently awaiting a clean sheet and when it arrives, it will be good. It will be something that turns on fine margins, and we have to keep working to improve our strength.

His take on the Real Sociedad match

I think the key word in this game was strength. Playing a good Spanish team who are currently second in La Liga, we were able to compete. We would have liked to have done even better, but I think it was pretty positive and good for the future.

His status as a leader

Leader or not, I honestly don’t take much issue with that. I know I have some experience that allows me to give advice to my teammates. Despite everything, I remain one of the youngest players in the squad. There are very experienced players like Wissam and Djibril, who help us to be stronger.

The 60-match milestone

I hope there will be many more to come. I’ve been gaining momentum over the months since I arrived here in January 2020. I’m definitely not the same player now, nut I hope to keep improving and come back in front of you to talk about it in 60 more games.

Rise. Risk. Repeat.

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