Niko Kovac: "I expect an intense match from PSV"
A big step towards qualification. Still unbeaten after three group matches in the Europa League, Niko Kovac’s men have the opportunity to move closer to a place in the round of 16 of the competition this Thursday evening against PSV Eindhoven (6:45 pm kick-off). Leaders in Group B with 7 points, Myron Boadu’s teammates are nonetheless wary of the Dutch side’s desire for revenge, following AS Monaco’s victory in the reverse fixture, on the occasion of the 200th European match in club history. This is what the coach wanted to emphasize at the pre-match press conference.
On the lessons to be learned from the Brest match
I said after the game that we lost the game because we didn’t put in the right efforts, we didn’t offer enough aggression. We created a few chances, but it was not enough. Brest wanted it more. We might have thought it was enough to get on the pitch to win the game, but it wasn’t. It’s up to us to bounce back this Thursday against PSV.
On the team’s ability to string together good performances
At the start of the season, I said that it was something new to play in Europe for a lot of our young players. Now we are playing in two competitions, with matches every three days. Today there are two sides to AS Monaco. In the Europa League we play very aggressively, because the motivation is maybe bigger. And in Ligue 1, we sometimes play a level below that. But the truth is, we have to maintain that level in both competitions. We are continuing to work to remedy this; our results need to show greater consistency.
📼 𝗧𝗵𝗿𝗼𝘄𝗯𝗮𝗰𝗸 ‣ #UEL
.@SofianeDiop d'un but salvateur offrait la victoire à nos Rouge et Blanc pour notre 200e match européen. pic.twitter.com/HaP1hwKdGV
— AS Monaco 🇲🇨 (@AS_Monaco) November 3, 2021
On tactical adaptation
You always have to adapt to your opponent, even if we keep our playing philosophy in mind. It is important to respect your opponent even more in Europe, and to adapt to their way of playing. We have shown, especially against Real Sociedad, that we can do it. PSV Eindhoven are a very good team and are currently just behind Ajax Amsterdam in the league. We have seven points in this Europa League so far, but there are still nine in play for so it is not yet fininshed. Tomorrow we expect a very tough battle.
On the new recruits’ integration
It’s normal when you bring in new players, that they need time to adapt. The team last season had a great campaign, keeping at a very good level. That’s why you have to give Myron time, for example, to adapt to a new context, especially as he is battling against great players for his place. It’s the same situation for Jean Lucas and Ismail Jakobs, who face very strong competition. It’s not easy for them right now, but I’m happy with this situation, with competitive players fighting for their places.
The type of match that’s expected against PSV
I think we will see the same type of game as in the reverse fixture. A very aggressive team, which plays with a lot of speed, is quick in making their transitions. They also has some very good wingers who like to cut inside. In any case, the coach, Roger Schmidt, likes to play a very attacking style of football, so I expect a strong allegiance, an intense match against Eindhoven. We will have to be very solid defensively. They need to win, so I expect a very open game, and I want us to be effective offensively, because first and foremost, I repeat, we have to be very vigilant at the back.
Second win in a row for #JongPSV! 😎
⚽ Maxi Romero 🇦🇷
⚽ Jenson Seelt 🇳🇱#JPSJAZ
— PSV (@PSV) November 2, 2021