Kombouaré: Thriving under pressure

Ligue 1 Conforama > ligue1show
17/03/2018

Antoine Kombouaré never shies away from a challenge, thriving instead on the pressures of professional football.

"Pressure is something that I need in this job. I was lucky enough to play professionally and now I've been coaching at the top level for nearly 18 years so pressure is something you learn to love," EA Guingamp coach Kombouaré told The Ligue 1 Show on beIN Sports.

He has certainly worked in some challenging jobs, whether leading Paris Saint-Germain into a new era under Qatari ownership, reviving sleeping giants like RC Lens, or replacing club legend Jocelyn Gourvennec at Guingamp.

"To succeed Jocelyn Gourvennec at Guingamp actually made things easier for me because I like the way he set up the team, we have similar principles. Perhaps the mentality is a little different now, but we've simply tried to add a little more youth, a little more experience, and of course quality, to ensure we keep progressing. But it was easy enough to begin with, because the foundations were already here!"

Kombouaré with Mohamed Sissoko in his PSG days

Guingamp 'the same job' as at PSG

Guingamp have one of the smallest budgets in Ligue 1. It's a world away from Kombouare's days at PSG, where winning titles was the priority, but the 54-year-old's approach hasn't changed.

"It's the same job! At Guingamp, the primary objective is to stay in Ligue 1. Once we achieve that, and we hope to do so quickly, we are able to fight for something between 12th and eighth place, and that's what we are working towards."

Grenier: 'A top player'

Kombouaré hopes recent signing Clément Grenier will help Guingamp take another step forwards. The France international has struggled terribly with injuries in recent years, but nobody in France questions the former Lyon midfielder's talent.

"It's a challenge. A challenge for both parties. He needs to get back on track, to start enjoying his football again, to be happy with his mates. For the club, it's also a challenge because we have signed a top player, at Guingamp he will be a top player. He's had his problems, but they're in the past now. We want to help him turn the page. And we want Guingamp to win, to climb as high up the table as possible. That's why we decided to bring Clement to the club."

Clément Grenier celebrates with Marcus Thuram after scoring for Guingamp last weekend

Grenier may have scored his first goal in Brittany last weekend, but with just one win in their last nine league games, Guingamp have struggled since the season resumed in January. Kombouaré is demanding an improvement in the coming weeks.

"I expect far more. We have a quality group here with some excellent players, we have some older boys who help out the many young players, and we have to be able to do much better than we are. That's what I want and that's what we're working towards. We simply can't be letting winnable games slip from our grasp. We still have to win a lot more games if we are to achieve our goals this season."

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