Caio Henrique: "Ligue 1 is a very physical and fast league"
He delivered his first assist, to Kevin Volland against Angers, last Saturday, in a 3-0 win. Arriving at the very end of August in the Principality, he needed time to gain strength in terms of his physical presence but he has he delivered a run of very good performances since November. Called up since for the Brazilian Olympic side, Caio Henrique now seems to be thriving in Ligue 1. This is at least what he suggested at a press conference, two days ahead of facing Montpellier at the Stade de la Mosson (9pm, behind closed doors).
Hello Caio. How do you see your start to the season and your adaptation to Ligue 1?
Yes, I am happy with my first months on the Rock. Obviously, this is a league that is different from what I have experienced before in Spain and even in Brazil. Ligue 1 is a competition which is very physical, very fast, so I’m adapting day by day. I see a lot of positives to date. It’s up to me to adapt further and continue to help the team.
What are the points on which you would like to improve?
There are always things that we can work on. I think I can still improve myself on the defensive side of things for example, because as I said the league is very fast, so I can still improve on the defensive aspects of my game.
Perhaps also in terms of spontaneity?
This is one of the things that I try to work on in training obviously. There are also situations in a match where I decide, where I am close to the line and when I see that there is no one to come on the overlap, I try to cross to find the best solution. But indeed this is an aspect that I want to work on in order to improve.
How do you perceive Wissam Ben Yedder‘s play of late?
Wissam is an example, he is an example for all of us and especially for all of us young players. When you’re a great attacker, it’s frustrating to have stretches without scoring. I’m sure he’ll find his way back to scoring soon. And it’s also up to us, his team-mates, to help him regain the confidence to score again.
Has anything been worked on in training to help him regain efficiency?
I think there is collective work being done, the answer will come from the team. It’s up to us to put it in the best possible shape. Wissam is calm, he knows he will score again soon and we have confidence in him.
What about the discussion about lowering wages?
We know very well the difficult times we are going through in the world, and not just in football. We know the difficulties of our time. This is a subject that we all have to tackle together, I cannot make a decision on my own from my side of things. If at the end of the discussions between the players there is an agreement, of course I will be happy to make an effort. But I think it’s a decision that has to be taken collectively.
How do you explain your success here compared to your experience at Atlético Madrid?
I would say maybe I was immature when I came to Spain at 18. I think there were problems in terms of my acclimation, I was only just experiencing Europe and the Spanish league. Today it is much better, I feel more fulfilled and it is reflected in my performances.
Would you say that there are similarities or differences between Diego Simeone and Niko Kovac?
Each coach has their own style of play. Diego Simeone is more of a defensive coach I think. While Niko Kovac tries to play on the front foot and be dynamic. He’s a very attacking coach in my opinion. I must admit that I was struck, however, by the similarities in their management in ball retention and their attention to pressing, between these two coaches. This is something that I’ve been used to working on at Atlético, so on this point indeed there are similarities in their philosophy.