With the fourth-most time on the pitch among the Monegasque squad (2703 minutes), Kevin Volland is one of the first names selected by Niko Kovac to compose his starting XI. And the German international (10 caps, 1 goal) has responded well. Scorer of 15 goals and 7 assists in the league, he is one of the reasons for the offensive efficiency of AS Monaco since the start of the season (71 goals scored), and more particularly in 2021. Two days before facing Olympique Lyonnais, in a massive match at the top in the race for Europe, the Monegasque number 31 answered questions from the media.
Hello Kevin. Do you plan to have the same start to the match as in the Coupe de France?
No I don’t think so (smile). It’s true that it was a hard foul that was worth a yellow card, I admit. But we have to move on. We want to give everything during this match. We have a lot of confidence in the team and we will do everything to try to win this match.
Do you think it will be a hard-fought match?
I think so, yes. The Cup match was special because it was a knockout match. But this match will also be a kind of final. So it will be a very closely fought match. We are in a good position. It will be a very difficult match against a great team from Lyon, who will fight to the end. But we are playing without pressure because we have already had a good season.
Has the team’s level of confidence been impacted with the absentees?
We have had small glitches all season between Covid-19 and injuries. But we have always responded with a quality squad. We know that everyone can play well on this team. We are therefore not worried.
Angers was a difficult game. Was it normal or a day without luck for you?
It was our third game in a week. It was a more difficult match, that’s true. But we won. It was important. We showed another side with our character and fighting spirit. We have had a week to recover and get back into good shape. Personally, I was more tired since it was also my third game in seven days. It took two or three days to recover well. Now I am fresh and available to be ready to fight.
Do you think more about the German national team after the season you have had, in view of the Euros?
No, not at the moment. I have had a good season in Monaco and I hope we can achieve great things. But I haven’t been called for four seasons, so I don’t particularly think about it.
Kylian Mbappé is injured to face Lens and suspended against Rennes. Is his absence good news for you?
He’s obviously one of the best players in the world. He is able to make a difference. He is a key player but Paris has a lot of other quality players in their squad. We are not necessarily affected by this. We look at our team first.
With the absences in attack, is there additional pressure on you to score goals?
No, I don’t feel any extra pressure. Of course, it’s always better to have players who can come in. As you have seen, that doesn’t stop me from playing 90 minutes in the last few games. Gelson Martins and Aleksandr Golovin are important players, but I repeat, our squad is of high quality.
How do you explain this very good first season?
I had a difficult first month in which I had to adjust to a new environment. As the weeks went by, things got better and better thanks to the work done in training. Then relationships with my teammates were created; now everyone knows what to do on the pitch. We know the movement of our teammates and we enjoy playing together. We also know how to recover the ball and get forward to create opportunities. With these successes, one can fully express oneself as an individual. So I’m happy with my progress.
— AS Monaco 🇲🇨 (@AS_Monaco) March 28, 2021
Do you think AS Monaco can be champion of France?
We are currently in a good position, but it’s better to stay on the hunt. The next matches are going to be tough against very strong opponents like Lens and Rennes. We take the matches one after the other, without looking too far ahead.
Was joining AS Monaco the best choice of your career?
Yes that was one of my best decisions. I feel very good here. I love the Club. We have had some success. And if we are successful, it is good for morale. When I come home, I am happy to have a good time with my family.
You are known to be a great joker. Can we still do it at this end of the high-stakes season?
It’s true that I really like to joke. But with the current situation, it’s a little more difficult. However, I try to be happy every day and have a good laugh. I make little jokes with my teammates but it is not yet the same as in Germany. I still have three years to practice (laughs).
– 𝑲𝒆𝒗𝒊𝒏, 𝒘𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒅𝒊𝒅 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒌 𝒂𝒃𝒐𝒖𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒂𝒔𝒔𝒊𝒔𝒕?
– 𝑰𝒕 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒐𝒌. 𝑱𝒖𝒔𝒕 𝒐𝒌… 😂
🎦 Eliot Matazo se fait un peu chambrer après son très bon match face à Metz. 🔥
Ce groupe ❤️🤍 pic.twitter.com/OwDHNITkMr
— AS Monaco 🇲🇨 (@AS_Monaco) April 4, 2021