LOSC president Olivier Letang says he is proud of his team's play and mentality as they have recovered from a poor run of form to sit fifth in Ligue 1 Uber Eats ahead of Sunday's clash with Paris Saint-Germain. Interview.
After the defeat in Nice and the draw against Clermont, you must have liked the reaction of your team (against Rennes and Strasbourg)?
"Rennes was a pivotal match and in that victory (3-1), there was everything, from a technical and mental point of view. We had to confirm that dynamic against Strasbourg and we did it (2-0), even if we fell asleep in the second half. We've settled into fifth place and our objective is still to qualify for Europe, so we have to keep going."
How do you judge LOSC's progress this season?
"There are two aspects. First of all, satisfaction with the style of play produced and the personality, the state of mind of the team. But there's also frustration because we've dropped a lot of points along the way. We could have at least five or six more but we won't get them back. We must always look for excellence and in the second half against Strasbourg, we dropped off a bit in terms of efficiency."
Are you proud of the attacking football played by your team?
"Yes, there is a lot of satisfaction. We wanted to change a lot of things in the off-season in terms of the mentality and the profile of the players to go with coach Paulo Fonseca's model of play. We have to insist on that, we have to push it through. But we are also in a competition, so result are important. As I said before, we need that killer instinct, to be more clinical and more cold-blooded."
Do you think you can finish in the top five in Ligue 1 Uber Eats this season?
"We have the qualities, we have the business model, we have the coach, we have the staff for it. It's going to be a question of mindset. The most important thing is not to have any regrets at the end of the season. We have to be on a mission to secure a European place and that means a result in the game in Paris on Sunday."
'The first match? We weren't ready at that point'
Can LOSC create an upset against PSG?
"I have a deep respect for PSG, who have great players, and we know that it is extremely difficult at the Parc des Princes. We always have to play a perfect match, with things going our way, if we want to get something. We will go with our convictions. I'm sure we can beat any team in this league."
Do you have a feeling of wanting revenge after the 7-1 defeat in the first meeting with PSG this season?
"No, not at all, because revenge is not a good feeling. And we have to focus not on the opponent but on ourselves. We weren't ready at that point and I think they were over-armed."
Several youngsters from the youth academy are playing with the pros now, which has not happened for a long time. Is youth development back at the heart of the Lille project?
"It's a real source of pride to have youngsters from the youth academy playing. The youth academy is at the heart of our strategy, with the objective of having a certain number of lads in the senior squad. We must congratulate all the staff involved for their very good work. But it's not a reward for the players, they play because they deserve their place and can help us achieve our goals."