Thomas Meunier has insisted Paris Saint-Germain have no problems finding motivation as they seek to take another step towards defending their Ligue 1 Conforama title at Toulouse on Sunday.
Toulouse FC - Paris Saint-Germain
Bitterly disappointed at being knocked out of the UEFA Champions League by Manchester United, PSG will also endure the unusual experience of sitting at home while the Coupe de la Ligue BKT is contested in Lille on Saturday after having won the competition for the previous five seasons.
Twenty points clear at the top of the league table, Thomas Tuchel's men are within touching distance of retaining their top-flight crown, but have yet to wrap it up, and have a Coupe de France semi-final at home to FC Nantes next week to negotiate meaning Meunier & Co. are not letting their guard drop.
"It's not only about the Champions League. We have to reproduce what we did in the first half of the season, in the group stage of the Champions League, for example, where we prepared very well, mentally and physically for some very demanding matches where you have to give your absolute best," the Belgium international told his club's official website.
"Mentally it's important to want to win each and every match, whether it's in the Champions League, Ligue 1 or the Coupe de France, at the start right through to the end of the season."
If they do that in the league, then they could smash a host of records. With ten games left, they could tally 107 points if they win them all — beating their own top-flight record of 96 set in 2015/16 — while they need to average around three goals a game in those matches to come close to RC Paris' all-time best mark of 118 scored in a 20-team top-flight campaign.
'Focus on other targets'
"We can try and score more goals than ever before, concede fewer, set a new points record...This is an extra source of motivation for us," said Meunier, who could also help set a new record for the lowest number of goals conceded he and many of his teammates established with 19 in 2015/16.
"We wanted to go as far as possible in the Champions League, but it didn't happen and now we have to focus on other targets. Having new targets and challenges is important. The coaching staff have insisted on that."
Toulouse head into the match ten points clear of the bottom three, though the relative comfort of their lower mid-table position does not mean Alain Casanova's men already have their minds on the beach.
They have also recently proven tough opponents for PSG — who will travel south without Neymar Jr, Edinson Cavani and possibly Angel Di Maria — losing only 1-0 to a Cavani goal in Paris earlier in the season and going down by the same scoreline as a result of an unfortunate Issa Diop own-goal at home to the champions last term.
Casanova will look to pull off a shock without the injured Corentin Jean, while goalkeeper Mauro Goicochea (knee) and creative forward Mathieu Dossevi (muscle strain) are both doubts.
"We know they're a team that plays on the front foot with the players that they have. We know we'll defend a bit more than usual. It's tiring mentally, it's not easy to be dominated all the time," said centre-back Christopher Jullien.
"We know we'll have to concentrate but we can't just focus on that. We have to get our foot on the ball, and attack. We have to try to surprise them, there are set-pieces too. We have to try and take our chances when they come."
Toulouse: to follow
PSG: to follow