Chateauroux vs. PSG: Christophe Galtier pre-match press conference
PSG will face Chateauroux on Friday, Jan. 6, as part of the French Cup Round of 64. The Parisian club had last Tuesday off after getting annihilated 3-1 by Lens last Sunday but returned to the training ground on Wednesday when they welcomed Lionel Messi.
Christophe Galtier held a pre-match press conference on Thursday afternoon in which he shared some interesting nuggets ahead of the matchup with Chateauroux tomorrow away from home. Here is what the coach said.
Asked about the importance of the French Cup for him and the difficulty of the competition even for powerhouse PSG...
"It's very difficult to win the French Cup"
"Every year there are big competitors, I hope to finally lift this trophy as head coach."
About facing third-division Chateauroux in a potential trap game...
"It's a professional team that trains every day. Athletically, they will be ready."
"We have worked to be mentally ready because there are more people at the stadium who will be Chateauroux fans than PSG fans."
"Their players will be playing the most important game of their season."
About PSG's missing players and upcoming absentees...
"The French Cup is an important trophy for PSG, the most beautiful trophy to my eyes, it brings together the whole of French soccer."
"After the defeat at Lens, we quickly got back to work."
"We knew that we were going to have a lot of absences at some point with the return from the World Cup and the suspensions."
"I wanted PSG to reduce the number of players in the dressing room. I'm very happy with that, it allows us to make room for the young players."
"In this post-World Cup match, there are some players who are absent for different reasons."
"We will field a very competitive team tomorrow."
About the defensive organization of the team...
"We are making sure to correct the mistakes that were made (in the game against Lens)."
"The history of the Lens game is a goal after three minutes and a goal after two minutes after the break losing the ball (in the final third)."
"We were not cautious against Lens. We were punished in areas where we had worked hard. We need to be much more careful and know the moments when we can take risks."
About why Neymar was absent from Thursday's training session...
"Neymar's absence was expected, such as those from all other players present at the World Cup."
"We had decided that Ney would treat his big ankle sprain through this period."
About Neymar's state of mind after getting sent off for diving...
"I'm not worried at all."
"We have a committed Neymar, who wanted to play the first two games of the Ligue 1 (after the break)."
"Unfortunately, he was punished. He is very invested, as in the first half of the season."
"His absence? That only is for tomorrow's game."
About using some of PSG's titis tomorrow in the French Cup...
"There will be an opportunity for some young players to start or have more minutes in this game."
"We are coming off a big disappointment, we have the obligation of getting a result, and there is no desire to rush players back."
"The absence of some players will give a chance to some youngsters, (so they will have a chance) to take advantage of it."
"The level of PSG's youngsters is higher than what I have seen around Europe."
"We have reduced the number of first-team players so that these younger players grow. We have talented young players, but we also have to give them space."
About Keylor Navas situation and his chances of playing tomorrow...
"Navas had about ten days of rest to get ready after his return."
"He got back into the rhythm of the sessions, with individual work."
"Yes, it's Keylor who will start tomorrow."
About Lionel Messi returning to training at Camp des Loges on Wednesday and his availability...
"Leo trained yesterday and today. He will not play tomorrow."
"We are making sure he is ready for the next game (Jan. 11 at Parc des Princes hosting Angers in Ligue 1). We'll see where things are at."
"I will be very attentive to what he tells me, but we want him to be available for the next game."
"It was important that he was cheered by all the players at the training center (on Wednesday, upon his return). He was moved to have this celebration."
About whether or not will be a celebration held at the Parc for Messi after winning the World Cup with Argentina...
"We'll see when his next game arrives, but there is Messi has not demanded it and Messi doesn't need to be celebrated."
"We are very lucky to have Leo Messi at PSG. I hope that he will be celebrated by our fans anyway, there is no reason why this should not be the case."