Rodez’s trip to Nimes on Friday, April 22, is an opportunity for his striker to return to the pitch of his training club, who left last summer. The striker also returns on Tuesday, April 19 in his team’s draw against Nancy (1-1), whom he, who had a match point in injury time, was pushed back by the bar.
Can you tell us about the final action of the game against Nancy?
obi (Johann Obiang, Editor’s Note) was on the side, I didn’t expect him to cross from the right so I didn’t dive at the nearest post unlike Papis (Malaly Dembele)† The ball comes back to me in the shaft, I put a flat foot on the closed side. My shot is slightly deflected by a defender. I am convinced that without the ball ending up under the bar.
How do you feel at such a moment?
I knew I would have one or two by the end of the game. At that point I said to myself “put…, do ch…” I had two points on the tip of my foot. I’m disappointed. I think I’m doing the right thing. They bring it to me, it’s a little infuriating. I blame myself because I have to score. I was recruited for this and there I fail in my responsibilities. We’ll have to do the work in Nimes. I didn’t score tonight (Tuesday)I’ll have to score two in Nîmes to hold us in as soon as possible.
What did you miss about the whole match to get the win that has eluded you for so long?
Defensive soundness, yes. We had a little too much action, which made us doubt certain parts of the match. It’s a bit of a shame after we know we’re not a team that gets 35 chances per game. In front of us was a very good team from Nancy, you have to accept it even if they are last and they don’t play anymore.
Didn’t you relapse too much after the opener?
I do not think so. It’s our game and that’s how we were at the start of the game. Our plan was to stay compact. Unfortunately, on a set that initially comes out well, it didn’t smile on us, because we were poorly placed.
Tomorrow the Raf will move to Nîmes. It will be your return to the lawn of your training club, which you left last year to come to Rodez. Is this a game you’ve been waiting for since the start of the season?
The last time I was in Costières I went on a stretcher (on 23 January 2019, during a Ligue 1 match against Angers, he suffered a serious knee injury that left him out of action for two and a half years)† I can’t wait to go back there. In the stands will be my family, my friends. It’s my father’s birthday. It had to happen that day!
Who is he going to support?
Of course it will be me (smile) † I’m sure of it.
Do you expect a special welcome for this match?
The supporters know that in my heart I am a Nimes. I don’t expect anything special due to the absence of fan groups in the stands (due to conflict with club management)† I remain a supporter of Nîmes Olympique, I want the club to be in good health, both in terms of results and financially.
How important has this club been in your career?
All the youth coaches I had taught me the values that made me professional when I was far from the most talented. These coaches have enabled me to move up the ladder. The club means a lot to me, so does the city. I was born in Nîmes, I will feel Nîmes ad vitam aeternam. I am very happy to go back, it is a moment that I had checked for a long time. I can’t wait to score and win there.
Nîmes is exactly the last team to beat Rodez (17 games without a win). Is the point to tell yourself that you shouldn’t go around the calendar without winning?
No, I don’t do it for that at all. It doesn’t play much. We hit the bar, against Niort (1-1, matchday 31) that was the case. There are a few small details that mean we didn’t win. I’m not thinking about this series. I just want us to win to take points and gain places in the maintenance race.