A starter in central defence for the first time this season against Lens Guillermo Maripán spoke to a press conference this Friday, two days before the trip to Dijon. AS Monaco will face the bottom side in Ligue 1 this Sunday at the Stade Gaston-Gérard (3 PM, behind closed doors). It’s an opportunity for the Red and White to bounce back, according to the Chilean defender, who wants to be optimistic.
Niko Kovac gave a rather positive speech despite the ongoing run of bad results. What about the squad?
The team remains positive, we are aware of the current difficulties. We know what we have to do, we have to react collectively. We are aware of our qualities. AS Monaco are a good team, with a mix of experience and youth. We have great players, and we need to get better results.
How do you see Wissam Ben Yedder‘s current form?
He works a lot in training, he’s our captain. Everyone gives the best of themselves during the sessions in order to be at their best. Wissam is at 100%. Maybe the situation is a little trickier, but he is in very good physical condition. I know we can count on him.
How can you explain the defensive errors against Lens ?
We started badly, it’s not normal to concede a goal so early (after 35 seconds of play). We need to focus more. We are only thinking about the next match. We have to be diligent from the start of the game, as we had done before those defeats.
How do you feel being on the bench?
I think it’s normal to make changes in a season, but we all have had opportunities to play. If the coach judges that I am not performing well enough, I will work even harder to convince him to trust me. The players who do not start are also there to help the team if they don’t always make an appearance on the pitch.
You are someone with a lot of leadership qualities, is this the time to show as much?
Yes clearly. When things are not going well, you have to show strength of character. I have to show this desire, this aggressiveness and give confidence to my teammates who are younger than me. I’m sure we can all get out of this together.
What is your take on AS Monaco’s current form?
It’s a bit more difficult. We have shown some good things on the pitch. We are aware that we are not consistent enough. We must be humble to regain this level regularity, and that requires work.
What is your role with the young players?
I have more experience than them, so I have to help them. They are very receptive to our advice, you feel like they want to learn. This will help us find this consistency that we lack at the moment. The goal is to get all three points against Dijon, to restore our confidence. We want to come away from this last road trip of the year with victory.