In a press conference, Mauricio Pochettino was confident and ambitious before the semi-final return of C1 against Manchester City.
PSG will present themselves with a knife between their teeth against Manchester City on Tuesday evening at the Etihad Stadium. The capital club is on a mission. Qualify for its second Champions League final in two years. Present at the pre-match press conference, Mauricio Pochettino wants to believe in a qualification of his team and gave news of Kylian Mbappé, uncertain for the match against Cityzens.
Mbappé will he start tomorrow? And what will your gaming system be?
Kylian will be training individually and we will see if he can be with the team at the end of training. There is still a day left, we will decide if he will play tomorrow. The game system will be similar to the one we have used so far.
Tomorrow you will seek to have possession of the ball and deprive Manchester City of the ball?
Yes that will be the challenge. Manchester City have been playing for six years under Pep Guardiola. It’s a very strong team that was built to have the ball. We are a team that also likes possession but with a balance between possession and transition, due to the characteristics of our players. We have to be prepared to suffer tomorrow during certain moments of the game. We will have to be clinical and aggressive. We have to score twice to go to the final, which is the goal. And we will do everything for it.
Guardiola said that a semi-final second leg is more difficult to prepare than a final, do you agree?
If you do not pass the semi-final, you will not be able to prepare for the final. The final is a unique game, and it depends on several factors. In the semi-final you have two matches, the emotional approach is different, it will be there, because it’s a result that affects your approach to the match. They have an advantage. We have to take risks, be brave, aggressive, knowing that Manchester City are playing a certain way. It will be a battle, it will be difficult, but we have to be ready.
With Tottenham you managed a stunning semi-final against Ajax, does that help you prepare for this match?
It was two years ago. It is not similar. The approach will be different, already because there are no supporters. Of course, experience is important in football, but the reality is totally different. In a Champions League semi-final … “Houston we have a problem” if we need to motivate our players for this game. Whether for me or for Pep Guardiola. The motivation is there, the players like to play these kinds of matches.
“There is no more pressure on Guardiola or on me”
What will be the key to the match?
It’s hard to know the key to the game. There are things that happen in football, it’s difficult to predict everything. There may be surprises. But in the end, you have to win, score twice, and not take a goal. There are times that we will have to manage on the pitch and it depends on the habits we take over the season. This is how we manage these moments during matches. They have habits before the match, it’s more individual than collective. I’m not going to use anything special to motivate them.
Have you studied Manchester City’s FA Cup game against Chelsea, a game in which Manchester City struggled?
It’s hard to compare. In the Champions League, it’s not the FA Cup, the Premier League, Ligue 1 … It’s impossible to compare that. There are different approaches, different motivation. It’s impossible to compare. We know how Manchester City are going to want to play, we have instilled some ideas for the game in a few months. We were able to beat Barca and Bayern Munich in a double confrontation, it’s just a matter of believing it. In the end, it’s a football match, whoever is better will go to the final. We must not go further than that. For us, it’s a huge challenge to be in the semi-finals. For PSG to be in the semi-final, to have the opportunity to go to the final, to win, that’s what the club wants and it’s a unique possibility. We must build. It takes time, but I’m sure it will happen. We want to win C1 this season and we’re going to make it happen.
Will Kylian Mbappé be available tomorrow? Is there a psychological benefit after the first leg for Manchester City?
For Kylian we will see today and we will make the decision tomorrow. It’s hard to answer the psychological benefit, what exactly does that mean. Sometimes we give too much importance to certain things. The most important thing is to play as a team, to play better than them, as we did in the first …