Marsille's Thauvin: 'I'm consistent now'
Florian Thauvin has told The Ligue 1 Show he is revelling in now being one of France's top performers, and the Olympique de Marseille man hopes his form will be enough to earn a FIFA World Cup place.
Thauvin has been central to Marseille's push for a top-two finish this season with his strike in Friday's 2-2 draw at AS Saint-Etienne his 14th of the campaign.
It followed hot on the heels of his hat-trick in the 6-3 demolition of FC Metz in Week 24, and add that to the ten assists he has registered and the 25-year-old is on course for his best-ever season.
"It's true that things are going really well at the moment. It hasn't always been like this for me, so I'm really enjoying the moment. It's fantastic and trying to make the most of this amazing period I'm experiencing," the former SC Bastia, LOSC Lille and Newcastle United FC man said. "When things are going well for me on the pitch I'm a happy person. When the football's not good I'm unhappy. So yes, it's fair to say I'm a happy man right now.
WATCH: Thauvin stars in Metz mauling
"I used to be inconsistent – that was my big problem. The hardest thing to do at this level is to be consistent. You have to manage a lot of matches, you're playing a game every three days and it's not easy to stay sharp all the time. "I hope I can keep this form up for a long time… you have to be very demanding with yourself if you want to be consistent at the highest level, that's why I'm not letting up."
After twice leading at the Stade Geoffroy Guichard, leaving with just a point as a result of Robert Beric's 74th-minute equaliser was a disappointment.
'Made great progress'
But it is still just a slight setback in a glittering start to 2018 that has them unbeaten in nine games in all competitions.
"I'm really pleased with how the season is going for Marseille. When I think back to where we were at two years ago, pretty much fighting against relegation. Now we're battling to get into the Champions League.
"We've made great progress, but we're still only halfway through the season. There's a long way to go but the team has made giant strides," explained Thauvin, whose side dropped down to third place as a result of AS Monaco's win at Angers SCO on Saturday while an Olympique Lyonnais victory against Stade Rennais on Sunday will see them move to within a point of OM and two behind the reigning champions.
"I don't think we'll finish fourth. I think we'll do whatever is necessary to stay in front even if we know it's going to be hard."
WATCH: Thauvin strikes as Marseille hold PSG
While a top-three finish remains his goal for his club, Thauvin also has individual considerations with the FIFA World Cup fast approaching.
The exciting attacker has won two senior caps, and given his current form he is a strong contender to be included in Didier Deschamps' final squad for Russia.
"I need to play well for my club every weekend and show an exemplary attitude, then I'll just have to wait and see," he said.
"But I'm not putting pressure on myself. I got in the France squad before thanks to my performance with Marseille. I'll try hard to impress for OM and then, who knows, maybe I'll be lucky enough to get picked by France."