“We desperately need…
“We need this win against Gravelines so much that we are looking for a way to win it at any cost,” said Eric Bartecheky on Thursday afternoon, after a team meeting with his entire team, the first in more than a month!
The coach did not look too long to determine the modus operandi to open the package in the hope of subduing a very fragile naval team far from his native North, although the negative gap decreases with each performance: -41 in Roanne, -10 in Monaco, -9 in ASVEL , -8 at Nanterre.
Set the animals free
“We should not allow them to develop their game. On the contrary, we should be able to show solidity in defense and get them out of their system, because they can easily score 100 points!”, declares the confident coach.
“As we’ve been saying since the beginning of the week, we have to defend like dogs, whether it’s a war on the ground,” describe the technician, tightening his tone. “All balls must be defended, we must throw ourselves on everything that drags us, we must be tough in duels and rebounds. You need to have this mentality to go for victories. Although we are not there all the time, we are not far from winning the last matches, “he assures a little Bartecek. “If we can raise our level, the satisfaction of victory will not be far away. »
Once the statement is on the table – “We need to be more solid defensively” – put the method in place.
The lines will move
The first element concerns the players. “They need to put more effort into duels to keep their single story going,” says Eric Bartechecki. “It also means a better collective understanding of the situations offered by the opposing team. Even if we are not in the best conditions to advance for a long time, it does not prevent us from having to raise our level of defense in one way or another in terms of intensity and performance. »
Another lever the coach must employ is manpower management by trying to reduce the playing time of some of his executives, primarily the Oniangue-Stockton-Sim-Cummings outfield, whose average playing time ranges from 31. and 34 minutes per game.
“It’s a vicious cycle, we know it,” admits the technician. From the moment we hit players for more than 30 minutes in a match, sometimes 36 or 38, it is obviously difficult to imagine them physically at the peak of intensity in the final minutes. We’ve thought about all that and we’re going to rotate as much as possible, move the lines around, give certain players less time, even if they’re still managers, so they can be in maximum demand and productivity at the end of the match. That means bringing in fresh blood with Fabio (from Milan, recovered from ankle sprain, editor’s note). We could have started the game earlier so that Fabio didn’t realize that we already had 17 or 18 players after 20 minutes. ” defends the coach.
Another pattern Eric Bartechek thinks he’ll use in the medium term is the use of zone defenses, a strategy that’s still not in his log book, his DNA as a coach.
“We did it to get two or three possessions in Cholet, other times to slow down the opposition a little bit. It can be a weapon to use, but frankly, I’ve always preferred 40 minutes of man-to-man,” confirms the insider. Ultimately, if we still can’t contain the opponent in individual defense, we’ll see if we have to use the zone, but that’s a few weeks away. it’s something that works above in practice. . We’ve often been DIY because we haven’t had the chance to do that.”
From DIY to elbow grease, there’s only one step Palois isn’t interested in falling this Saturday evening.