Les Bleues will challenge Montenegro on Thursday in the quarter-finals of the European Championship. Their coach, Jean-Aimé Toupane, takes stock.
How do you feel about your team on the eve of facing Montenegro?
Jean-Aime Toupane : This group, I feel it, insofar as we decided from the beginning to live things in the present moment. The work has been well done on the part of the staff and the players to get there. The only thing I regret is Iliana’s injury (Rupert, hit in the right shoulder, editor’s note), even if apparently it’s not too serious. We know the importance of this meeting, the matches will be more and more difficult over time. But for all that, we try to stay on what we know how to do, focused on the field.
Do you already know if she will be available for the shift?
Apparently it’s less serious than expected. The doctor will tell me more. Will she be able to be in the field or not? We do not exclude anything, it will depend on what I am told. She does everything that is next to keep in shape. The most important thing is her pain, how she feels. At some point, you will have to deal with everyone, depending on everyone’s state of form. It’s important to have everyone, if it’s valid it’s an added strength. The chance that we have is that there are other players who are ready to take over.
Going for a title or a medal is never a long calm river.
The 1st round was difficult. Have you still built up confidence?
When you go looking for a title, nothing is easy. There are some who write the script before, I don’t. I think you have to earn it. What is important is how you approach things in difficult times. Going for a title or a medal is never a long calm river. The difficulty that we may have had from the beginning, I dare to hope that it will help us, because we know that it will be much more difficult. We know what awaits us. I think the team has improved. Putting things in place with little preparation time is not easy. What makes me happy is that the team, despite everything, has kept this state of mind. What will make the difference is the state of mind that we will put in relation to what we want to do. The will to do things well is there.
Comments collected during a press briefing