Luis Enrique confident PSG can cover enough hard yards in Coupe de France bid

By Sports Desk February 06, 2024

Paris St Germain boss Luis Enrique has no doubts his players can cover enough hard yards as they prepare to face Brest for a place in the quarter-finals of the Coupe de France.

After Brest fought back from 2-0 down at half-time to draw their recent Ligue 1 match at Parc des Princes, Enrique faced questions over the squad’s fitness levels.

In the Champions League group stages, PSG were one of the lowest ranked teams for distance covered per match on average, at 113.84 kilometres.

Many of the PSG players are reported to have hired personal trainers to add extra fitness work on top of their sessions at club training.

Enrique, though, rejected suggestions his players needed to build up some additional stamina.

“My teams play with possession to make the opponent run, so we do it less – not a single of my teams in my career has not run enough miles to win games,” the PSG coach said.

“In the Champions League, behind Manchester City, we are the team with the most ball possession – and we are much stronger when we have the ball.

“That doesn’t mean an opponent can’t have the ball more than us, the team which creates the most chances and takes the fewest is us.”

Enrique told a press conference: “For several years now, players have been calling on physical trainers, physiotherapists, osteopaths and nutritionists.

“If there is co-ordination and there are good balances (of training), that seems good to me.

“The players are becoming more and more professional and the club has a clear line on what it means to live the life of a professional and to have the best professionals to help the players.

“The vast majority have a chef at home, they have all the advantages – I would have liked to have a chef and a physiotherapist just for me (as a player), but it was a different time.”

Enrique hopes PSG can learn from their last meeting with Brest to secure a place in the quarter-finals of the French Cup.

“The advantage of playing two matches against Brest in a row is that we know our difficulties,” said Enrique, who will be without forward Randal Kolo Muani because of a viral infection.

“It is hard to press them, so we have to be better with and without the ball.

“We expect a difficult match, but it will also be a different match, since it is the Coupe de France.”

Enrique added: “In the championship, it is a lot of consistency. In the cup, it is knockout – if we have a bad match, we can be eliminated.

“It is a different approach and you have to be very strong mentally.”

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