AS Monaco's Benjamin Henrichs told ligue1.com the embattled principality side can settle for nothing less than three points when they face fellow strugglers Dijon FCO in Saturday's crucial Ligue 1 Conforama encounter.
Runners-up to Paris Saint-Germain last season, Monaco have endured a nightmare campaign so far. A casual observer might even think they are looking at the top-flight table upside down with the 2016/17 French champions heading into Week 22 second-from-bottom of the table, two points and a place behind Dijon, and a further point from safety.
After a tumultuous week in which they were dumped out of the Coupe de France by Domino's Ligue 2 leaders FC Metz on Tuesday, coach Thierry Henry was sacked and Leonardo Jardim returned to the club, Henrichs acknowledged he and his teammates must start putting points on the board, starting this weekend.
Ligue1.com: Benjamin, the Metz game was another disappointment for Monaco. What happened?
Henrichs: We didn't take our chances in the first half, and in the second, it was simply too easy. Our opponents are in the second division, we're playing at home, but they dominated the game. That shouldn't happen.
Ligue1.com: You certainly created chances, but didn't take them…
Henrichs: Absolutely. The first half was OK, but the second was unacceptable. We are AS Monaco, we're playing at home and we allowed ourselves to be dictated to. We have talked a lot, and it's really time that in the next two games — at the weekend and in the semi-final next week — we show what we can do and what we have in our locker.
Ligue1.com: When you arrived here from Leverkusen in the summer, you surely can't have imagined you'd find yourself in the middle of a relegation battle, but here you and Monaco are…
Henrichs: Exactly. Of course I'd imagined things differently, but we have to deal with this situation. Everyone is trying to find a way out of it. We are giving our all. I think after what we said in the dressing room following the Metz game, we will now wake up and show what we have in us, and give our best on Saturday.
Ligue1.com: Saturday's trip to Dijon is now the focus — you need to take three points, don't you?
Henrichs: Yes, it's a game that we have to win. We can always say, 'Next time, next time', but now we have to deliver, especially after the Metz game. We have a debt to repay, and we'll try everything to win there.
Ligue1.com: If we're trying to be positive, could your Coupe de France exit be a blessing in disguise given you have a Coupe de la Ligue semi-final next Tuesday and can focus more on your league campaign?
Henrichs: Absolutely not. Fortunately, there is another cup and we're in the semi-final, and we would have had to focus on that whether we had won or lost against Metz. We'll now put our all into getting two wins and then we can start to move up the table.
Ligue1.com: Your ex-coach Leonardo Jardim recently suggested that the team's problems are due to a lack of experience. Do you agree with him?
Henrichs: That's partly true, but we have also had a huge amount of injuries and a lot of really young players have played. Naldo and Cesc Fabregas have come in now, they have a lot of experience, and when the injured players come back, it'll be a lot better for us. But we're just not getting any points, any results, out there on the pitch, that's what we're lacking right now, and we have to start doing that as quickly as possible.