Perpignan, who remain in the Top 14 with four consecutive defeats, are seven points behind thirteenth-placed Brive. USAP manager Patrick Arlettaz looks at the turmoil after the loss at Clermont on January 7 (31-20), while Stade Français (2nd) is expected at Aimé-Giral on Saturday (5pm).
“How was the European Challenge bracket where you toured a lot?
We decided to give playing time to the youngsters and those who didn’t play much in the two Challenge games. (Lost Glasgow 26-40 and Bristol 33-19). The players who prepared “Stad Français” were able to rest and work well in this match.
Did it make the cut in the Top 14?
He moved a little, swayed a little in the club. So this bracket allowed us to approach knowing that we weren’t too scattered anymore. We can do better, we know that we are preparing as well as possible to take second place in the Championship with good results. The challenge is tough, but we really want to do well.
also read: The program of the 16th day of the Top 14
After the defeat in Clermont (31-20, January 7) “shaken” …
We’ve been focused since the beginning of the season, giving it everything we’ve got, feeling like we’re united, we want to do this together, and that episode (after Clermont) just confirmed what we thought. The task is complex, but we knew that from the beginning. After Clermont we hesitated a bit, but it didn’t last long, we are back at full strength to prepare the Stade Français as well as possible.
Ready to go after Clermont?
the president (Francois Riviere) I proposed to make a change so that the most effective change is always the manager… I suggested that the change in question should be me because I didn’t want anyone else to be affected. I thought that if we wanted a change at any cost, it was a consistent change. But the initiative did not come from me, I was ready to fight. I don’t stick to my place, but I give 100% to this club as long as I am responsible and confident.
also read: Ranking of the top 14
Did the support of the players leave you indifferent?
There are still twenty billion comments from people who don’t see how we work on a daily basis. Only the players know exactly what we do in terms of quality and quantity because we have them all day. If they say, “we want to continue with this lineup,” that’s ultimately the only recognition we’re looking for. When players buy into your ideas and say they want to continue working with you, that’s the most important thing.
What major challenges have you identified in this four-game losing streak in the Top 14?
It is difficult to summarize our actions. And if we disappear five minutes into the match, we get a lot of points. Against La Rochelle (December 10-29, 31), we disappeared for ten minutes and tried three. While we are more dominant in the match. We’re 72nd in Clermont, we have a three-minute breakdown and we get fourteen points, which puts us out of the match. From time to time we have air pockets which cost us in the long run. So you have to be more consistent throughout the game.
You will play four of your next six matches (Stade Français, Pau, Bayonne and Montpellier) before moving to Brive in 10 days. Does everything happen there?
Given our dynamism, we are very short-term in our vision. First we will meet Stade Français and then Brive. But we are aware of the six matches that await us and their importance in our season. If it’s going bad, we have to turn the Top 14 page to make sure it’s going well. A win on Saturday would do us a lot of good to break this bad dynamic. But we know that it will be very difficult against Stade Français.
How much does Mathieu Acebes’ lengthy suspension, suspended for 9 weeks after a fracas on Danty on December 31st, handicap you?
It is a lack on the ground as it is a vector of motivation and leadership. But he’s with us, every day off the pitch as captain, which is very important during the week. He gives energy to the group, he almost has a role in the squad today, but he still has the spirit of this player. He was hit with a hangover, but he bounced back quickly. »
also read: All news from Top 14