Back from Belgium, where they lost 4 goals to 2 on the lawn of Louvain, the Amiens welcome for the first time in their preparation a resident of Ligue 2, Le Havre. On this occasion, Philippe Hinschberger granted us an interview to take stock two weeks before the recovery.
Are you satisfied with the content of Wednesday’s match against an opponent who finished 11th in the Belgian top flight last season?
We had to resist the good pressing from the Belgians, we did it pretty well over the first 15, 20 minutes, the time we got organized to get into the game. Afterwards, the big chances in the first half are for us. Two close-range headers from Aliou Badji which I think would have had a better spell last season and a one-on-one where the goalkeeper made an extraordinary save. So three chances in the first half, not counting Leautey, Gomis, or even Tolu who in three games could have scored 5 goals, I think… We are looking for this efficiency, which I have no control over, but my goal is to create chances. Then you have to put them down. I’m pretty happy with what we were able to produce in this context.
A goalscorer who doesn’t score is like a sprinter who doesn’t win, it’s in the head…
You have to put people in confidence, not take the lead, Aliou it was his first half, we know what it’s worth. Tolu is not a boy who scores often. Last season he scored 8 goals, but he got them in 5 games. He has a pace of games to score which is not important today, it’s not like Charbonnier (AJ Auxerre) where you know that one game out of two he will score or make an assist.
It’s important that you find the right automatisms, that you get to know your partner well.
Here is the fourth preparation match coming up: are we getting closer to the standard team?
We are looking for our connections. We redid our defense. Nicholas (Opoku) hardly played with us last season. With Barry, that’s two out of three new defenders. For the moment, we haven’t redone our attack because our two attackers were already there, so it’s pretty good in terms of connection. It’s important that you find the right automatisms, that you get to know your partner well, that’s the objective.
In the first matches that we have seen, the big project seems to be the defense?
Yes and no. We conceded 10 goals in 3 games, but we can’t worry about that either. In Leuven, we finish the last half hour against a beautiful Belgian team, with Kassoum Ouattara and Junior Fofana who are a left back and a midfielder in a three-man position as an axis defender, they have no benchmarks, so it was not a gift that I gave them. For me, the score is anecdotal, because we can also lead 3-0 at half-time when we see Aliou Badji’s chances. The day we shovel in goals with our standard defense, I will be a little worried.
Do we prepare for a friendly match in the same way as a league match?
We watch a little how they play so as not to be surprised. The Belgians, we know that it’s a big hurry. Le Havre will surely come on the same system they used in the year, a 4-3-3. It gives us a small indication of the system, but above all we try to put ourselves in place.
Le Havre also plays in Ligue 2: is it important to meet future opponents to be able to gauge each other?
Yes, especially since Le Havre is somewhat within the same perimeter. They had a last season that they expected better too. It is a club that also aspires to go up. It’s interesting between this match and Quevilly – Rouen Métropole next week, in a different style, to compare. It’s better than playing Belgian D1 who, a priori, are stronger than us.
Lomotey and Formose Mendy will not play.
Are there any absentees against Le Havre?
Lomotey and Formose Mendy will not play.
Are you satisfied with what you have seen from the latest signings in the little playing time they have had?
If we take barryI think what he does is pretty good technically. Gelin will bring us a lot through his vision of the game, his experience, his expertise and his knowledge. Leautey brings us a lot of speed, quality of dribbling, percussion, but also play in space, it’s important. Ring takes a little longer to acclimatise, with the language, he will find an apartment with his wife and their two children, it will already be a little easier for him. Angel Chibozo, we only saw him for 30 minutes, but from what he shows us in training, he is a small build, very tight to the ground, very skilful in front of goal. He’s not a deep player, he’s a boy who likes to have the ball at his feet, so he can be complementary.
4th friendly match, Saturday July 16, 5.30 p.m., La Licorne annex stadium, Amiens (entrance: €5, free for partners and subscribers, 299 places available): Amiens SC – Le Havre
Photo credit: Kevin Devigne – Gazette Sports