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UEFA Champions League 09 August 2021, 20:53

Niko Kovac: "Nothing is finished yet and the players know this"

Niko Kovac: "Nothing is finished yet and the players know this"
On the eve of a visit from Sparta Prague this Tuesday (8 p.m.) in the third preliminary round return of the Champions League, the coach of AS Monaco spoke at a pre-match press conference.

It’s time for the third match of the season for AS Monaco, set to take place this Tuesday at the Stade Louis-II. After a victory away to Sparta Prague (2-0) and a draw at home against Nantes (1-1), Niko Kovac’s men will welcome the Czechs for the second leg of the third preliminary round of the Champions League. It’s a decisive match which Niko Kovac is approaching with plenty of determination, as he addressed the match in a press conference.

The mood around the team

We have only played the first match of this double-legged tie and there is still one left. Nothing is finished yet, the players know this. If I had the feeling that they didn’t really understand this I would do anything to remind them of this, and to push them in that direction. We’re expecting a tough game, qualificaton is on the line, so we’re going to do our best.

The players’ form

We are awaiting a last word from the medical staff, but the information is that everyone is in good shape. Guillermo Maripán is on his way back, he will train with us, and so will Krépin Diatta. We will have 27 outfield players available and 4 goalkeepers as well.

Everyone wants to show their best side, that they are better than their teammates. This desire is a good thing.
Niko KovacManager, AS Monaco

Balancing different competitions

Everyone wants to play, that’s what I like as a coach. The players’ levels of performance is essential. Everyone wants to show their best side, that they are better than their teammates. This desire is a good thing. For me, the important thing is neither the players’ ages nor their names — it’s really their performances that count.

Integrating the two new recruits

Jean Lucas played a very good match after only three days with the squad. He knows Ligue 1, he understands how we wanted to play, that’s very positive. He is able to play in three positions: as a six, eight or ten. This is what we were looking for, and I hope he can continue like this.

Myron (Boadu) has great potential. He’s only just arrived, he needs to know the way we play, with and without the ball. He created a great chance, and if he continues like this, he can give us a lot in the future.

 

Rise. Risk. Repeat.

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