Football: how Rodez took control of his destiny

While the Ruthénois headed straight for the play-offs, or worse, they managed to overcome one of the worst runs of results for a Ligue 2 team by putting in a performance against Toulouse (1-0) on Monday ). Those who are now assured of a stay in the event of an end of the season, at worst identical to that of Quevilly, reveal the reasons for their extension.

“It took a long, long, long time to get this one, damn it! We’ve waited a long time for it. It’s improbable sometimes.” Like finishing a run of 18 games without a win, including nine defeats, and taking your destiny into your own hands in the race to hold out against the leader, Toulouse (1-0). When he comes to Rodez on Monday evening, after six successes in the past seven days, to win the title in a derby with ten of the eleven players of his standard team…

“Unlikely” for Raf Laurent Peyrelade’s coach, “unbelievable” for his left piston Johann Obiang or even “a big, big relief” for the middle of the same corridor Nassim Ouammou. “Because this period without victory was psychologically very difficult to live with, de Stéphanois confided in the corridors of Paul-Lignon. We have overcome this ordeal by showing that we have not let go.”

For this time, blood and gold have set the sticks from end to end. Goalkeeper Lionel Mpasi admitted: “Lately we sometimes run out of records.” “We had been playing half matches for several weeks, Johann Obiang engulfed in a press conference. In terms of concentration, intensity and defensive withdrawal, we were able to achieve a result. When you play your survival, you have to know how to suffer and be sharp.”

A state of mind lost by blood and gold at the truce, when they were in 8th place in the championship. So how did they find him, which is more at such a critical time? “We realized we were getting closer to the end and we had this reaction,” Johann Obiang replied. It’s human.”

A decisive tactical change

Perhaps it was also provoked by the decision of the chairman, Pierre-Olivier Murat, to impose greens on his group the day before and on the day of the games since the “undignified defeat” in Quevilly (2-0), in his words . Nassim Ouammou greeted: “We had to do something. Staying together in these moments allows us to concentrate more than if we were spending them with family or friends. If sleeping in the hotel before a meeting increases our chances of victory, I do it every time! (laughs)” “By spending more time together, we love each other and discover each other even more,” continued Lionel Mpasi.

Ruthenian defender Julien Célestine, passing through the Toulouse training center, gave another argument to explain the newfound determination of his people: “We saw the 500 opponents from the field, they were chambering, were sure that they would win the title here… It was a source of motivation, especially because our fans really played their part as the twelfth man. I want to thank them very much because we need them.” “We were stimulated by this special atmosphere”, Johann Obiang also admitted. Nassim Ouammou added: “There were almost all our families in the stands too.”

On the lawn, Laurent Peyrelade’s change of tactical system, trading his immutable 3-5-2 for an effective 5-4-1, was the final piece of the puzzle of renewal. “Faced with Téfécé, this is the ideal tactic, because it allows him to block his monsters on the wings (Ratao, Ngoumou and van den Boomen when he degenerates)”, analyzed the one who seemed more comfortable moving from the piston station to that of the middle left.

Better, like Johann Obiang, who was able to combine with him and cause the winning penalty as a side, or even the sentry Bradley Danger, found in a two-man environment next to Rémy Boissier. Strong choices from the coach, such as sending Pierre Bardy and Jordan Leborgne away.

Thus, the Aveyronnais have taken their fate into their own hands. It is now up to them not to let go.

Direct relegation goes away

With six points and eight goals ahead of 19th Dunkirk, knowing there were only six units left, Rodez would certainly avoid the direct descent with a draw. And in the last two games, in the case of results similar to those of Quevilly (18th and play-off), who would have the same number of points, but four pawns less in the goal average as his victory over Nancy (0-3 ) were validated, the Aveyronnais would be assured of maintenance. Unless the Normans end with two victories with an avalanche of goals and the Rouergats for their part win each time with a short header.

Laurent Peyrelade, he is far from thinking about these scenarios: “We have never seen a team keep our number of points (37). And as Bradley Danger says: “We will have to do the work in Bastia (Saturday) and then before the arrival of Caen (May 14) before we can say that this game against Toulouse was the most important.”

When you know that the next two opponents have nothing left to play for, it’s a seemingly affordable scheme. At least more than Valenciennes’s, 16th by just one lead, which Sochaliens still receives in the game for second, before moving to Niort. But also from Quevilly, traveling to Caen and then home to…welcome Dunkirk.

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