Montpellier vs. PSG: Christophe Galtier pre-match press conference
PSG will visit Montpellier for the Ligue 1 MD21 on Wednesday, Feb. 1. The Parisian club is coming off another draw (1-1 hosting Reims last Sunday) and keeps dropping points and finding it hard to separate from the chasing pack in the league. The schedule will get tougher as we advance through February, so PSG better start getting positive results and winning games before it's too late.
Christophe Galtier held a pre-match press conference on Tuesday afternoon in which he shared some exciting nuggets ahead of the matchup with Montpellier on Wednesday at the Stade de la Mosson. Here is what the coach said.
Asked about the use of different midfield combinations since the start of the year without finding one that works...
"We have yet to find the right formula."
"There has been the absence of Marco Verratti (suspended for the next two games and injured before), which is an important element, but I don't want to use that as an excuse."
"What we did in the first half against Reims cannot satisfy me. What we did after the break was more consistent with Marco (used) in a more usual register. It didn't last long because Marco was sent off."
" We must find more density and more fluidity in the (midfield) sector."
About talking to the players about their current physical and mental state...
"We must find rigor, individual, and collective efforts. We did this during the first months. "
"These are discussions that I had during the preparation periods before the games and also after the matches with the players."
"We must rediscover the pleasure of putting on an effort for each other. It had been done often and well, but it's been hard to find that since the World Cup break."
"That's what I told my players this morning. Everyone must have an awareness of their performances and what they give to the team."
About Vitinha's steady loss of playing time, performance levels, and importance in the pecking order...
"I don't want to talk about poor performance when it comes to last Sunday."
"I used him in the role of Verratti, (but) [Vitinha] is a player who is able to project himself more, who does not have the same characteristics as Marco. What was asked of him was not suitable for the player he is."
"Vitinha has had a very good start to the season in different systems, but he is having a little trouble finding his level."
"Is it related to the World Cup? He is not the only one to be concerned (about that being the case)."
"Our midfielders need to be better at using the ball but also a lot more intense than they are now.
About the lack of defensive efforts by the Neymar-Messi-Mbappe trio when it comes to pressing and trying to recover the ball back...
"We have three incredibly strong attacking players. I believe it's 55 goals and 34 assists (between them) since the start of the season."
"Do you think that we have to deprive ourselves of one of those three players to be more balanced? That [would be] a mistake. We've been good and solid with all three."
"There is the observation of [Sunday's match alone] that means that we cannot be satisfied with our first half [then] against Reims."
"There is simply a need to find a better balance, recharge the legs, have more freshness, and [a higher] collective desire for the team to become again what it was at one time (in the first half of the season)."
About how he plans to rewire PSG players so they regain that balance...
"It's not a question of their state of mind. We must find something else, obviously."
"It jumped out at me, as it did at you, that what we did in the first half is downright insufficient."
"Everyone has to give more on the pitch, regardless of the system in use."
About what he expects from the match against Montpellier on Wednesday...
"(I expect) a difficult game."
"It's PSG that travels to La Mosson, we know the fervor there is in the stadium, always with a special atmosphere."
"They have just won a very important match at Auxerre (0-2). We worked on the way Montpellier play (based on that recent game)."
"The most important thing is our behavior and what we are going to offer in the game. We must find a lot of things that we have been lacking lately."
About feeling a sense of urgency considering how bad things have gone for PSG of late...
"This is obviously insufficient. In terms of points and performing levels of play."
"Is there urgency? We have to find a higher level of play and get points. Every season there is a bad period, and this is the case now."
"We have to find a better game. We have a busy month of February. January was not good, but now we are all working to make February better than January."