Niko Kovac: "Regrets over the first half"
As Niko Kovac has announced before the match, this Matchday 4 clash in Ligue 1 would be his side’s first test. An so it was, resulting in a frustrating first defeat for AS Monaco. After having dominated Stade Rennais thanks to a goal from the captain in the first half hour from Wissam Ben Yedder (1-0, 28′), the Red and Whites saw Julien Stéphan’s men turn things around in just over ten minutes at the very end of the match. It was an undeserved setback for Niko Kovac’s squad, who insisted on highlighting his players’ first half performance in a post-match press conference.
Coach, what feeling is predominant after this match?
We are obviously disappointed to have lost in the last minute but it is part of football, you have to know how to accept it. My regret relates in particular to a very good first half, one in which we played with intensity, animation and a team spirit. We have a young team that must develop. We need to keep our heads up, to work hard and come back even stronger against Strasbourg to win our third match of the season.
What did your team lack to come away from this match still undefeated?
We created two chances to seal the result but we did not succeed. For their part, Rennes fought back and pushed us. It was in the small details that the game was turned upside down, but I also remember that we showed a lot of courage and battled well against one of the best teams in Ligue 1, a side who will play in the Champions League.
You announced at the pre-match press conference that Wissam Ben Yedder would soon score his first goal. You were not mistaken …
Wissam scored a fantastic goal that few attackers can score. I told him he was going to get a brace, and his second strike hit the bar — it will be one for next time. But I’m happy with his goal, it will give him even more confidence and it will probably be the first in a long series.