Two days before AS Monaco’s first away match of the season, to FC Metz for Matchday 2 of Ligue 1, the Rouge et Blancs' coach answered questions from the press.
Five days after the draw against Stade de Reims (2-2), Niko Kovac looked back on the first match in charge of his players in Ligue 1, while also looking ahead to the first trip of AS Monaco’s league campaign, to Metz this Sunday at the Stade Saint-Symphorien (3 p.m.). Here are some excerpts from the pre-match press conference.
For the moment we are very happy since we have no more injuries. The only injured players so far, Cesc Fabregas, Pietro Pellegri and Stevan Jovetic, all trained with us yesterday. If nothing happens between now and tomorrow's practice, they'll be available for Sunday.
On the signing of Caio Henrique
We are very happy to sign this talented young player. He will unfortunately not be available for the match, as it has been several months since he played, so we have to be careful and not take risks. We will take the necessary time over the next few weeks to get him back on top form.
The return of Djibril Sidibé
Djibril Sidibé is back with us, he trained with the group. He is a good player who has shown his qualities on loan in the Premier League. He's a French international and I'm counting on him, he's a great player. We haven't talked about his situation. I will give him a chance like all the other players to be able to play according to his performance. Everything is possible. He finished the Premier League three weeks ago, he's in good condition so we'll see if he can play on Sunday. He can play on the right and left and his mentality is good, I like him, we'll see.
The match against Reims
What matters to me when the team is on the pitch is that they play together. The start was not good against Reims but I liked the reaction of my players. We had possession, dictated play, and created chaces. Certainly there were 2-3 situations that I didn't like, but when I watch the whole match against Reims, I'm pretty happy.
On the style of play
Yes, I want to keep this aggressive style of play, I want to play well, to get forward quickly. I realize this exposes us, but I want us to have more chances than the opponent. After six weeks, not everything is perfect but I'm happy with our progress. Give us a little time and the quality will be there.
To watch Niko Kovac’s press conference, click here.