AS Monaco manager Niko Kovac full of optimism ahead of Lyon clash

Niko Kovac
AS Monaco

With the international break now over and Ligue 1 returning to action this weekend, AS Monaco face a challenging test against Olympique Lyon.

Heading into the match on a good run of form and undefeated in their last six matches in all competitions, AS Monaco will be hoping to carry their positive momentum into this one. 

Speaking ahead of the colossal clash, Niko Kovac offered his insights on the challenge that lies ahead. 

Eager for victory

“They (Lyon) are a very big opponent, that’s for sure. Last season we fought three great battles against Lyon, who has since changed coaches with the arrival of Peter Bosz, whom I know well. I remember the first leg exactly. We dominated, we had possession, but in the end we lost heavily because we were punished for our mistakes. We expect a big game in a stadium that will be full. I think we are very close with some teams behind PSG, and Lyon is one of them. As usual, we will go there to win the match.”

Bosz Reunion

Knowing Peter Bosz from their time working in the Bundesliga, the Croatian tactician was full of praise for the Dutchman ahead of their reunion.

“Peter Bosz is a very good coach besides being a beautiful person. I know him well, so I expect a very tough game. He likes to play very attacking. I remember his journey when he made it to the Europa League final with Ajax Amsterdam. I’ve faced him a number of times in the Bundesliga, and I love the style of play he puts together. They have a better team than last season in my opinion, but sometimes it takes a while to put things in place. Their current place does not reflect the level of this team. I don’t worry about them. I just hope they don’t click against us (smile).”

Previous Battle and Midfield selection

Kovac’s final comments surrounding the contest centred on how he viewed last season’s battle with Lyon and how he’ll line up his midfield.

“Last season was a special time. In the end, we were fighting with them for third place, so it was really a special context. Sometimes emotions can take precedence. We will try to win this match in good conditions. It’s a great stadium with a great atmosphere, so I hope it will be a great game. It is the best framework to show our qualities, and I hope that we will be able to show them.”

“When someone is not there, we must have the capacity to replace them. Obviously, the absence of Aurelien (Tchouameni) is detrimental, because he is an important player for us. We have three midfielders in this position to compensate. Youssouf (Fofana), who was part of the executives last season and who greatly contributed to our good journey. 

“There is also Jean Lucas who joined us this season and Eliot (Matazo), who showed very beautiful things when I called on him. We have solutions, I’m not worried.”