Kombouaré: 'You have to be solid'
Newly installed Toulouse FC boss Antoine Kombouaré spoke about his plans for the team when he was presented to the press on Tuesday, stressing that he will look to build on a strong defensive base.
Currently 18th in Ligue 1 Conforama, Toulouse FC opted for a change of coach during the international break. Exit Alain Casanova, criticised - and even threatened - by some supporters, and enter Antoine Kombouaré, who had been a free agent since leaving Dijon at the end of last season.
'We have to get to work'
"I'm replacing a great friend," Kombouaré said of former TFC boss Alain Casanova when he was presented to the press on Tuesday before addressing the task that lies ahead. "The players have their share of the responsibility for the predicament we're in. They didn't do a good job and we'll have to get to work."
To straighten things out, Antoine Kombouaré will be placing plenty of emphasis on the defensive side of the game.
'You have to be solid'
"I would like my teams to play well, score goals. But what is good play? To win games, you have to be solid. We have the eighteenth-ranked defense in the division; we've conceded too many goals. We need to defend well, to create a team that likes to defend. Up front, we have the qualities to make the difference."
This is Kombouaré's seventh coaching appointment in France's top flight (only Jean Fernandez, who has coached nine different top-flight clubs, has outdone him), and Kombouaré already has plenty of ideas about how to motivate his players in the tough season that lies ahead.
"We have to regain a winning mentality, especially in terms of a desire to play tough, physical football," said the former PSG defender. "You have to earn respect."
The people of Toulouse - and Le Téfécé's upcoming opponents - have been warned. The first glimpse of how Kombouaré's message is being received by his new charges will be on offer as they play host to LOSC at 20:00 on Saturday.