Frédéric Antonetti : « Everything to lose against FC Vaulx »
With Stade Rennais (L1) preparing to take on FC Vaulx-en-Velin (DH, 6th tier) in the Coupe de France, Frédéric Antonetti promises that his team is preparing the game against the “minnows” in the round of 32 very seriously. Remembering the elimination of his men by US Quevilly in 2010, the manager of the current Ligue 1 3rd is also giving his views on amateur football.
Arrived in Lyon’s region with his team at the end of the week, Frédéric Antonetti granted an interview with the redaction of foot69.fr, who gracefully offered us transcript of this content.
Frédéric Antonetti, your team is encountering FC Vaulx-en-Velin in the Coupe de France Round of 32. What do you know about this team?
"The FC Vaulx-en-Velin managed an excellent tournament, notably eliminating a CFA Team, Jura Sud. There certainly are players in that team, who have got the ability to play at a higher level. As in every game, we have gathered as much information as we could in order not to be surprised.”
Which would have been the best draw for you: Jura Sud, a team from the CFA, or the “minnows” from FC Vaulx-en-Velin ?
"There is no best draw. We are looking at FC Vaulx-en-Velin with all the possible seriousness. We have respect for this club and we will play with our best possible squad. We have to remain vigilant since we have everything to lose on that game. We will have to be present."
How does a club present on the Ligue 1 podium find motivation before meeting a team playing five divisions below?
"We know we have to prepare in the most serious of ways. We followed a normal training program. It’s up to us to show we are in this game and we do the job. We’ll have to play at our best level, including in the ball recovery, and dictate the pace of the game.”
Was the elimination of Stade Rennes against US Quevilly (1-0) in the round of 16 last year a lesson well remembered by your squad?
"I hope we will have remembered the lesson. We need to use this failure in order to do better in the future. That sort of experience is useful for a lifetime.”
« Tougher than it was against Cannes »
Are you expecting an easier game than you had against AS Cannes (7-0) in the round of 64?
"It will be tougher. The context is particular, In the Coupe de France, we have to display our style of play. It’s our duty to give it everything. The history tells that it is always difficult to play that sort of games. We know we have to go through such games."
What is your reflection on the elimination of ten Ligue 1 club in the previous round? Has the level of professionals dropped, or has the level of amateurs risen?
"I can’t tell, whether the level of professional clubs has dropped. This competition is very different of the others and the result of Ligue 1 clubs change from one year to the other. Sometimes, there are a bit less remaining after the Round of 64, some other times, many remain. I don’t think you can truly judge the level with only one round in the cup. What is certain however, is that the amateur clubs are fed by Academies. Some players in these teams have missed a professional career only narrowly, for a bit of bad fortune… Some of these lads bounce back, the best example is Franck Ribéry. The Coupe de France can reveal some of them.”
During your career as a player, have you ever been in the position of the minnow against bigger teams? What is the feeling when causing the upset?
"It happened to me when I coached in second division with AS Saint-Etienne… We had knocked several first division teams out, we even qualified for the semi-finals of the Coupe de la Ligue, in 2004. You have to consider that on a game, everything is possible. Except satisfaction, I had felt nothing particular, since the objective at the time was to be promoted to L1 (Ed.: A target he completed at the end of the same season) ."
Interview by Fabrice Dufaud for foot69.fr