Philippe Clement: "Bayer Leverkusen are very strong in transitions"
Nothing seems to be able to stop them! AS Monaco have still not experienced defeat in Ligue 1 since the World Cup. After a convincing win against Paris Saint-Germain (3-1), the Rouge et Blanc arrive with full confidence as they face Bayer Leverkusen this Thursday (9 p.m.). On the eve of this round of 32 matchup in the Europa League, Philippe Clement spoke at a press conference with the desire to extend this form.
On how Bayer Leverkusen play
It is a very well organized side, very strong in the transitions and united in their efforts. Looking at their recent form, they have had four clean sheets in their last five home games, which is an indicator of the quality of this team. I expect a meeting where Bayer Leverkusen will sit deep while waiting for our mistakes, to break quickly in transition. Jeremie Frimpong and Moussa Diaby are very fast players, who can change the outcome of a match on their own.
We have to play our game like we do every week. It will take caution and not being naive. The game is going to be decided on details, but we are going to do everything so that they fall on our side. Do the players take after their coach (Xabi Alonso)? It’s very difficult to find players as elegant as him. A coach’s goal is to adapt and work with the qualities of the team first and foremost.
The Europa League, a goal?
Making a mark for the Club does not only involve trophies or a European run. What matters most is the path you take to get there. When I arrived at AS Monaco, one of the first things I said to the squad was that what matters most to me is seeing ambitious players. Working more every day, in every practice — the players understand that. And I see it more and more, day by day, the team is growing.
Dernière séance pour nos Rouge & Blanc avant de prendre le départ pour Leverkusen 🏋️♂️
‣ #B04ASM | #UEL pic.twitter.com/dhXL01NMP1
— AS Monaco 🇲🇨 (@AS_Monaco) February 15, 2023
The favorite for the match
It’s hard to say, because Bayer Leverkusen are an ambitious team, which partly resembles AS Monaco, with a desire to develop a lot of talented young players. I don’t think we’re favourites, and anyway that’s not important to me.
We weren’t against Paris Saint-Germain for example and we saw the result. I don’t like to think like that. The team is in good form and has already confirmed it in the last matches, like against Marseille or PSG for example. We are always trying to perform to the maximum. Anything can happen.
About Eliesse Ben Seghir
Eliesse is not afraid, he plays in important matches exactly as he does in training. Regarding a start, we will see according to his physical condition. The strength of this team is that the whole group is ready and involved. I have the opportunity to make changes in each position and this is an important asset. Eliesse performed well against Paris Saint-Germain, as did Takumi Minamino, who is very efficient in this position.