This time, there was no drop in concentration in the second half. Clearly dominant in the first half and ahead by two goals at the break, the AS Monaco players did not relax and were able to maintain their lead against Clermont (2-0). They thus played a seventh match without defeat (five wins, two draws) and approach the podium. It was thus a very satisfied Philippe Clement who gave a post-match press conference.
Hello Coach. How do you feel after this victory?
Scoring a goal very early was very beneficial but it is also thanks to the whole team who have pushed hard every time to get a good start to the game. It is not the first time we have done this. Then we had control of the ball by creating chances in the first half. This was also a match with special circumstances with the wind. We had to adapt.
In this sense, the second half was more challenging, and we tried to play in long balls behind the defense of Clermont. But we didn’t concede a goal, that’s the most important thing this afternoon. It was a game where we showed maturity. I am very happy that the team has learned the lessons of the match against Auxerre in order to push until the end and not leave chances for the opponent. We must continue like this.
— AS Monaco EN (@AS_Monaco_EN) February 5, 2023
I imagine keeping a clean sheet is important…
Indeed, it is always important not to concede a goal since you are sure to take at least one point. And with our streak of 32 consecutive games with at least one goal scored, we have a great chance of winning. But we are not a team that only defends because we want to create chances. So we have to have with good discipline and a good structure, and that’s what I saw at every moment today.
In your opinion, was this the best first half in recent months?
It’s difficult to say. Against Auxerre, it was also good, and the same was true in Marseille. For me, it’s not that important because I’m not a person who looks to the past. The most important thing is the future. For that, I am very happy because we saw a good game from Taki (Minamino) just as we saw from Eliot (Matazo) in Marseille.
These are our strengths because it shows that players who have not played in recent weeks can respond physically and mentally. All the players are also understanding what we want to do with and without the ball.
You also knew how to make the match easy for yourselves…
Yes and I have a lot of respect for Clermont because they have had great results this year, especially in the last few weeks. They won against teams capable of fighting for the European places. It was a challenge for us to come here and pick up three points since I am sure that Marseille and Lens, in preparation for their matches, looked at our result. If we had lost this match, it could have given them a surplus of energy.
A word on Takumi Minamino’s performance?
Today, Eliesse (Ben Seghir) wasn’t available but Taki was ready, and he had a good match. I watch everyone’s training sessions. And unfortunately, I can’t give starting roles to everyone because there are only eleven places on the pitch. Moreover, several players have done a very good job in recent weeks like Myron (Boadu) for example.
Kevin (Volland) has also returned from injury, so there is competition in all positions on the pitch. The energy in the team is very good and everyone must show that they are ready. I am seeing this state of mind more, it must be our strength in the coming weeks. I have more and more attacking options, which makes it more difficult for me to choose eleven or twenty players. I hope this will be the case until the end of the season.
You are getting closer to the podium with this result…
Yes, but I don’t look at the table much. It is true that our form is very good since we have won five games and drawn two since the World Cup break. We have to stay focused on ourselves and not look at others. There are still a lot of games and points to take.
Toujours invaincus en 2023 😃✅
— AS Monaco 🇲🇨 (@AS_Monaco) February 5, 2023