Niko Kovac: "A challenging match against a very good team"
It’s a gala match! On the eve of their 200th European match against PSV Eindhoven, their co-leader of their the Europa League group, AS Monaco are preparing to live up to what promises to be a massive evening. After an inaugural victory against Sturm Graz (1-0) and a draw against Real Sociedad, the current La Liga leaders, Niko Kovac’s men hope to bring back a result from their trip to the Netherlands. In any case, it was with caution but ambition that the Monegasque coach spoke to the media ahead of the match.
On the challenge of bouncing back against Eindhoven
Obviously after a loss in the league, it’s always important to bounce back and get back to winning. But tomorrow we will face PSV Eindhoven, a very big club in the Dutch league. We were able to see again last night the quality of this league and these teams (with the victory of Ajax Amsterdam against Borussia Dortmund 4-0, -ed). So it’s going to be a tough game against a great team, and what’s more it’s on the road. Both teams will try everything to win this match. We hope that we will be able to bring back a result.
On managing the squad with the current run of matches
As you know, we have improved the depth of our squad. The point really is to give each player in this group the playing time they deserve and need. Especially since we have three games to play per week this season. So the idea is also to give some rest, to rotate some players in. We played on Saturday so the team has had time to recover since then but whoever starts tomorrow’s game will be pretty fresh. So hopefully they will live up to the event.
On how to play against PSV
Tomorrow we will be playing on the road, and compared to playing at home it is always different. We have faced great teams recently like Real Sociedad and Lyon. This time it will be PSV, and we have to respect the opponent, because there are really some very good players in this team. They play modern, dynamic and fast football with a great technical level, so we have to adapt. I want us to be aggressive, to attack the opponent very high up the pitch so as not to give them time to build up play. This is the way I would like to play, but there is a high level opponent to deal with, I repeat.
The coach’s memories of Eindhoven
Eindhoven, like Monaco, is a big club, which has a very long history in Europe. As you know, tomorrow we will play the 200th game in the club’s history in continental competitions. These are very interesting matches to play. I remember PSV when I was young, they always had a great atmosphere in their stadium, they play fast and intense football, and have very good players. I’m happy to be here because it’s always a spectacle to be in this place. Tomorrow will be another match, so let’s wait and see. But I think I might run into a former club teammate who lives in the area.
On Myron Boadu’s return to the Netherlands
Myron is back in his home country. He knows this league and these Dutch teams well. We recruited him for AS Monaco for his great qualities, but he is a very young player. As I often say, a player entering a new league needs some time for adjustment. Myron is working hard to improve game by game. He started the game against Real Sociedad. I’m happy with him, I know he can do even better, that he can bring more to the team, but we have to give him time.
💥⚽️🎯 𝑪𝒓𝒂𝒄𝒌 !#WelcomeMyron pic.twitter.com/t6CQHVinId
— AS Monaco 🇲🇨 (@AS_Monaco) August 4, 2021