Play-off reactions - Garcia: 'Heart and talent'
ESTAC Troyes coach Jean-Louis Garcia was full of praise for veteran Benjamin Nivet after the club captain struck late in the 2-1 play-offs first-leg win at home to FC Lorient on Thursday night.
Thursday, May 25, 2017
Play-offs, first leg
Stade de l'Aube, Troyes
ESTAC Troyes 2 - 1 FC Lorient
Jean-Louis Garcia (ESTAC Troyes coach): "I'm very proud of the game we played; the first half was completely in our favour. After the break, they took control but couldn't manage to create many chances. Despite conceding an equaliser, we had the character to get the second goal, which leave us still very much in the tie. Lorient would have liked to kill of the tie in this first leg, so I think this result puts even more pressure on them. We're very humble, because we're only at the half-way point of the tie and we're expecting a very tough match in Lorient on Sunday. It will be a cup match. Our advantage may be slight, but it's an advantage nonetheless. We can still believe in our chances. We used our heart and talent to get that second goal. [On the importance of Benjamin Nivet] It's always like that! Even if I think he's tired, that's why I don't take him off. I know he can produce something special at any moment. I think he will end up having a statue dedicated to him!"
Bernard Casoni (FC Lorient coach): "Conceding a goal right at the death, after we had been in no danger at all, was very disappointing. It's frustrating, because they didn't have any chances in the second half. If we want to stay in Ligue 1, we'll need to lift our game and play the way we did in the second half. We haven't had such a bad first half in a long time. We were pretty and tense and emotionally worked up. I think that maybe our system wasn't on the money in the first half, but we rectified that situation at half-time. Now we need to draw inspiration from our performance in the second half, when we were much sharper. The substitutes did a good job. We have to reflect well and prepare ourselves for the return leg. Having scored an away goal is important - it's always encouraging. If we want to stay in Ligue 1, we'll have to score at least one goal."