Philippe Clement: "This team is growing month by month"
A few minutes after their cruel elimination against PSV Eindhoven on the occasion of the third preliminary round return of the Champions League, the coach of AS Monaco, Philippe Clement, shared his feelings on the match to the media.
Good evening, coach. Was it a frustrating defeat tonight, given your performance?
Annoying is the right word, but that’s how it is. I can’t ask for more from my players! I am very proud of them. This match turned on details that gave the opportunity to the opponent to score, but despite everything I saw good things. This team is growing month by month. Today there were very good things that we did with the ball but also defensively. We were better than PSV in both legs. Tonight, despite the stadium being full, we didn’t suffer much and we pushed until the last second to score but luck in the end was not there. Now I see the team as real winners! It’s easier when you win to have that mentality, but the big winners are the players who have the mentality to bounce back from disappointment. We have to take that as an additional motivation to go forward.
Our Monegasques will play the Europa League.
‣ 3-2 #PSVASM ( 4-3) pic.twitter.com/qjJ16qMoeM
— AS Monaco EN (@AS_Monaco_EN) August 9, 2022
Have you ever experienced such a match?
I’m still a young coach and so far I’ve had the chance to qualify for the Champions League every time. Today was not the case but for me the most important thing now is the reaction of my players. There must not be disappointment like last year, because because of that we dropped too many points in the league. With this gap we missed out on second place and we can’t make that mistake a second time. After this match, we must not lose confidence or desire. Precisely, it is necessary to put even more energy into growing.
What do you think could have been missing when the chips were down?
I will first watch the match with a clear head. But I trust all my players, I made changes early on to diversify my options and bring on pace and speed, because I knew PSV had to play outside of themselves. But each player gave their all, so it is logical that there was a bit of waste technically. So it’s always easy to judge things on the spot but I prefer to take time to review a match. In any case, I didn’t seen a player who wasn’t a part of the game and that’s very positive!
Is this the kind of match that will make your team grow?
Yes of course. Even though I was hoping to win this game. We had the chances, we hit the post and the crossbar. I think there may have also been a penalty on Breel Embolo. Even if we were better across the tie, in the end it’s the result that counts, and it wasn’t for us tonight. My players are logically very disappointed but no team can win every game. And this kind of match contributes to the charm of football, which is unpredictable.
Despite everything, the Europa League is looming...
Yes, and there will be great matches in this competition too! There are a lot of good teams in the Europa League. You have to be very ambitious, and I want to see very ambitious players, in all three competitions. Not only in Europe. We have to be very committed to each match. The players have been there for the past few months, now I want to see that too after this loss.
Now, we head to Rennes on Saturday…
We gave a lot physically, and we won’t have much time to recover before facing Rennes. But I want to see a good mentality in the coming days. I will select the players for Saturday from what I see in training. I want players who are already passionate about this game. Tonight was our first defeat in thirteen games, we must remember that! We have to keep doing what we know how to do. Thirteen matches unbeaten is not luck.