The confidence of the Montpellier coach near the end of the season.
In recent weeks, the team has rarely been complete and the results have not been very good. How has it been for you?
We went through a pretty complicated period of injuries and absences. This is mainly because these absent players are always in the same key positions, first in the 4th and then in the middle. It broke our habit and weakened our game a lot against Plessis and then against Nantes who didn’t have any more centre-forwards and we had to adapt to Poitiers in the same way.
This period has everything. A game that didn’t go well, the loss of the nest, could also be tiresome because in 4th we had 2 long-term injuries and Julien Lecat and Julien Lyneel had to be spared. This is not the kind of house to regret. In these moments, it’s important to think about solutions rather than rant about the problem, which I struggle with every day, and for me it’s a sign of weakness.
From there, there are still problems, both in life and as a coach, that’s part of the job, but you have to know how to tame them and try to find the right levers. It’s also my job and my way of being to inspire a fight against these negative thoughts.
Knowing to overcome these difficulties, some of the comments seemed light and rushed…
We actually realized that after a game or two that was worse than expected, the atmosphere around us changed. At the moment we are not very good, we accept it and we still managed to beat Tour! But we have to fight this negativity around us, knowing that we will have better days and the players will come back.
The idea is to keep fighting until our last breath, last ball, and use that experience to find new engines as this division is getting harder and more homogeneous.I heard today not going wellwe are still one point behind second place.
If it didn’t go well for us, it must be the same for many teams. People only watch the game, but we struggled in training for a couple of weeks and it’s hard to work in these circumstances, so the quality of the game suffers.
After Nantes-Rezé, you have to compose without communication. How was the preparation before Poitiers?
After Nantes with Fabio Storti, we talked a lot before and during our trip to Poitiers to find the right formula to avoid easy We will force a player to play in the middle. We wanted something more subtle, something that would work, and most importantly a system where players could get along and have fun on the pitch. Fabio has done a really big job of shaping all these positions.
We are troubled by these changes in Liberty, so we have to be in the wrong place and do some brainwashing from time to time to prevent the jury from falling on us and hurting the organization every time. We presented it to the players in the old-fashioned way on the board, and they insisted directly, which also made it possible to fight against this somewhat murky atmosphere and feel united.
Ezequiel Palacios is the player you are relying on for this restructuring, how did he react?
He wants to do it straight and Ezequiel is probably our most beautiful volleyball player. He’s a guy who loves to play, he’s not afraid of anything and he’s going to do a lot. He definitely wants to play center. We knew Julien Lyneel couldn’t carry all the load of the attack alone, and we showed him the device.
We restructured to get the players to have fun on the pitch, to get the flanks back in rhythm and we worked hard. I don’t know if it’s a genius, but all I can say is that it’s all good! At some point, you have to look the other person in the eye and tell yourself that you are fine. If we can find these resources during these difficult times, it means we still have them and my satisfaction comes from there. A lot has already happened in this 2021-2022 release.
How do you see this season?
With Covid-19 and games being postponed, the recent administrative folly of teams like Cannes allowing teams that didn’t win, the European Championships we can’t continue, the whole season will be special. Very tired, very tired, with a lot of scars. But we were there, a point behind second, so we had a chance to play. The Euros this season is unfortunate, we dropped points in the den, injuries … but this is from the top level and we have shown that we can adapt and find solutions.
We are fast approaching the end of the regular season. Is it taking over more and more of the player’s mind?
Players certainly know this. We’re eight weeks into the countdown. We wanted to say to ourselves here very early that we are ten weeks away from the Coupe de France, ten weeks away from the end of the regular season and we don’t have much time left, especially since we have games postponed, 2 a week -3 games. We go to Set, we pick Chaumont, then we go to Paris for the playoffs…
These are the races you have to play to be ready for the deadline. The Coupe de France of the teams that make it to the final will have 4 games in 8 days, one game every 2 days plus travel because in France obviously we have a different format instead of bringing the teams together in the same place for the sake of Managed the game, we got them moving, it’s kind of like the French style of volleyball. We know this is coming soon, so with every injury we’re asking ourselves more and more about the severity and duration, definitely more than at the start of the season because we need everyone to achieve our Target.
One last word about your son Julien Lecat. How is he and how is his recovery going?
He’s fine, he’s improving. He wasn’t the funniest part because everything was fine, but he couldn’t do much on his knees. The development and consolidation of ligament grafts still takes time. He will be in rehab quietly. This injury is less severe than the first knee injury, it is more neutral and has fewer complications.
As I told him when he was injured: “You know the way, you know you can do it, you have to think about that”. Mentally, he’s a very strong guy, and I hope he’s the same on the pitch and in his life because it’s still a complicated test. I’m not worried.