Troyes vs. PSG - Christophe Galtier pre-match press conference
PSG will return to action on Sunday and they will do so by visiting Troyes as part of MD34 of Ligue 1 following their sound defeat to Lorient (1-3) at the Parc des Princes last weekend.
After the craziest week (which is to say something...) of the season for PSG and the lads inhabiting Paris, Christophe Galtier and his pupils will have to put on the proper work to win a game and start to put an end to the title race, one that has heated up of late with Marseille just five points behind PSG in the table with five games on the schedule.
Although this should be an easy match for Paris Saint-Germain in a game against the third-worst team in the French top-flight division (Troyes have 22 points), they might start the game knowing that OM are only two points behind them with Marseille facing Lens on Saturday and a chance to cut the distance with PSG. Even a win by Lens in that matchup would put them only three points behind PSG, too.
Coach Galtier attended the pre-match press conference on Friday afternoon.
Here are some of the most interesting nuggets ahead of the match against Troyes scheduled for Sunday as PSG will visit the third-worst team in the competition while hoping OM and Lens draw their matchup on Saturday for MD34 of the Ligue 1 season.
What did you know about Lionel Messi's suspension, how do you interpret it and how do you see the future?
"Alright, I'll leave that to you (laughs). I was informed earlier this week by my management of the decision to suspend Leo. Once I was informed of it, I made the decision not to comment on it."
Not a week goes by without an event changing the life of PSG... As a coach, how do you experience this permanent state of crisis and how do you explain it, you, who experience things from the inside?
"There is a big gap between what we experience on a daily basis and what you make it look like. The news was the suspension of Leo, there are obviously poor performances, but we are not hiding it. There is a big gap between everything you can write, invent and the reality of the locker room. Am I telling you that we are living in a pleasant period? No. I grant you. But there is a goal to achieve and my players are working. When we lose, the players are not smiling. I saw the reaction of the group, we are all focused and concerned. It's not enough but there is a title to get. The championship will be difficult. There is the reality of the locker room, and it shows me that they want to seek the title. It's an unhappy group when the team loses."
Are you afraid of not winning the title? And how do you live, on a personal level, this period?
"I am focused on my work, on managing the squad which is weakened, match after match. We have a five-point lead but Lens and OM are on a big dynamic. We have no room for relaxation. The defeats are linked to a difficult context on the physical level. Match after match we suffer injuries, which deprive us of some important players. We must be very united and stay together."
Do you think you can count on Lionel Messi by the end of the season? How can you restart the machine without his talents?
"We'll see when Leo comes back. There will be discussions with the entire club and Leo, who is the first concerned. Nuno Mendes is out until the end of the season, Bernat is there. We are working on other options. On the right, we worked on only one other option, it's part of the difficulties in the life of a coach. You have to find the right solution for the team to perform well."
Would you have made the same decision about Messi?
"I didn't have to make the decision. I have been informed of this and I comply with this decision."
Do you think Neymar will still be a PSG player next season? How did you experience the gathering in front of his home and the insults of the supporters towards you?
"Will we see Neymar again next season at PSG? I am very focused on the last five games and we will see later what will happen later. Regarding the gathering in front of a player's home, whether it's Neymar or someone else, you have to be very careful about that. Privacy should remain privacy. I can understand the supporters' anger and disappointment. I can understand that we are demonstrating at our workplace, in front of the PSG offices, where a fairly calm demonstration took place. We can demonstrate but I do not accept that we go to a player's home… There can be overflows and God knows that we see a lot of them. Our society has gone mad and out of control. You have to be very careful. Insults? I am very exposed as a coach, I hear, I understand, but I remain focused on my mission."
Would it be a mistake for PSG to lose Messi and Neymar in the same summer?
"I can't answer that question because next season will be next season, we have to finish this one well. I don't do any waffling and I'm focused on these five games."