PSG will face sixth-division team Pays de Cassel on Monday, Jan. 23, as part of the French Cup Round of 32. The Parisian club just returned from their Middle East tour on Friday after defeating a Saudi All-Star XI 5-4 last Thursday in Cristiano Ronaldo's debut on Arab soil.
Christophe Galtier held a pre-match press conference on Saturday afternoon in which he shared some exciting nuggets ahead of the matchup with Pays de Cassel Monday on the road in the stadium of Lens. Here is what the coach said.
Asked about whether or not PSG could train properly while touring Saudi Arabia...
"We were able to the (and) match in Riyadh was better than a training session. We played in a competitive environment with a very big atmosphere."
"The trip allowed us to exchange thoughts and feelings with each other to better focus on the game."
Christophe Galtier: "We're looking into signing a winger in January"
"Since the resumption, we have had two defeats, and it is very annoying. We do not look for excuses but rather for solutions."
"I have exchanged thoughts with many players so that everyone can return to the same state they had before the World Cup."
About the return of Nuno Mendes possitively impacting PSG intensity...
"We know the importance of Nuno Mendes. He's been out for a long time so we have to be very careful. It was a serious muscle injury."
"Juan Bernat has been alone without a backup at his position. They are two totally different players because Nuno is a very vertical, very intense player."
"We are looking for intensity and verticality, which we have lost in recent weeks."
"We were forced to rethink our formation and our tactics. (Also,) we did not manage to apply pressure on the last matches."
"We had discussions to define the most suitable place to recover the ball. We are on it and we will work in this direction."
About landing a potential replacement for Pablo Sarabia and getting other reinforcements through January...
"Pablo left for the reasons you know, and the club is working on bringing an additional offensive player. We are looking for a winger."
"Regarding Milan Skriniar, I saw the information. Will he come this summer? I can't tell you. Will he come this winter? I can't tell you."
"I (already) have a lot of things to work on with my players, and I want to be focused on that."
"The sporting director (Luis Campos) and the president (Nasser Al-Khelaifi) are working on that.
About Keylor Navas getting another start next Monday and the need for PSG to resume competitive play...
"Keylor will play on Monday. He will play many games in the French Cup."
"Is it urgent (to come back to competitive play)? Yes, when you are PSG."
"It's getting tight (the Ligue 1 top of the table) very fast, behind us."
"We have to find our game, more energy, more rhythm, and intensity."
About the trio of Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe, and Neymar starting Monday's game...
"I'll line up the best possible team on Monday (because) I want the players to find automatisms, intensity"
"There is no reason, and it would even be stupid, to make any sudden change. We will have a very, very competitive team, close to the one we used in the last Ligue 1 game."
"Playing the youngsters? There is the possibility of five changes. We will see how the score evolves."
"We need to work together to put a team composed mostly of young players."
About Presnel Kimpembe finding it hard to recover from his injury and other concerns regarding the defense...
"We hope to have Kimpembe back over the next few weeks. We expect him to return to the training sessions, but we will have to see how he feels."
"Kimpembe's absence is detrimental to the group. We know his level of play, and he's a leader of the defense and also a left-footed."
"We will see in the coming days if he can return. That said, we can't be satisfied with what's happening defensively. It can't just be the defenders."