Remaining on a slap in the face in Marseille and, above all, a series of four defeats in a row, the Toulousains have no other choice but to win, this first day of the year, against AC Ajaccio – direct competitor in the maintenance race. Otherwise, it would start to get tougher… Kick-off, at the Stadium, at 3 p.m.
Game, set and defeat at OM, Thursday evening (6-1). Challenge, stress and expected success against the ACA this afternoon. For Christmas, the Violets were not at the party; on New Year’s Day, they want to give each other nice New Year’s gifts. Drunk against Marseille, perked up in front of Ajaccio? This is the goal, of course, despite a day « and a half » of rest in addition which will have benefited from the Corsicans of the South who, them, played Wednesday at 3 p.m.
« We know that sporting fairness is not the priority of the calendar and it is very damaging », tackles Philippe Montanier before summing up the situation in two shots.
« My players have been stung, supports the Toulouse coach, and they know the importance of direct confrontations. Afterwards, adversity we know how to face here! Fighting together to overcome the obstacles that arise on our way: these are moments that, paradoxically, I also enjoy. »
“My players are ready to bounce back”
That’s good – well, in this case, rather badly – for the former technician of Real Sociedad, particularly served in this area. The figures, always the figures… Over the last five days, his team ranks second to last with a record of four defeats and a draw [2-2 vs Strasbourg en date du 23 octobre pour le compte de la 12e joute du championnat]. And a goal average of – 11. « It’s our worst series, it’s clear, can only see Montanier. But we’re not falling from the clouds either. By playing consecutively – moreover at the exterior – 2e (Lens, loss 3-0), on 3e (Rennes, 2-1), 4e (Marseille, 6-1) then Monaco in-between at home of course (2-0), we knew very well that we were going to be faced with a tough test. That we weren’t going to strike and win everything… Such a grouping is rare. Now what matters is what will happen behind. If you prefer, it’s about looking ahead. We have the ability to bounce back. »
By being above all more effective in the two zones of truth, that is to say defensively in its own penalty area and offensively in the opposing 16m50. About boat but these are the words on the evils suffered by Dejaegere’s teammates.
Accuracy and movement, the keys to the match
“We have to keep our game philosophy by adding rigor, continues the Garonne coach. If the pressure of the result can inhibit us … Even when we were better placed, we looked down. This L1 is tight as desired: we are at three points from the red zone, four from tenth. And I have no illusions, I think the configuration will last the whole season. »
Hence a 6-point match as they say for the return to the Stadium after almost two months of absence (TFC-Monaco, November 6)? « I would not qualify the meeting as crucial, concludes Philippe Montanier, because there are so many deadlines; however, it is certain that our opponent of the day has the same idea in mind: to win. Behind we will have to defend skillfully on the against, in front it will be necessary to force the lock Ajaccien with accuracy and movement. »
Victory will have a cost, but at the same time no price.