Fabien Galthié : "The defeat against Lyon has stimulated us"
Toulon manager Fabien Galthié held his first official pre-game press conference for his new club this week. The home game against Pau takes place in a few days and he gave us his first impressions.
Fabien, the Top 14 opener takes place on Sunday against Pau. Are there still unknown aspects ahead of the game?
First, as we play on Sunday, I should sing my answers to your questions. Mourad [Boudjellal] said that, from now on, we would sing our answers and my orders were to do so! But, eventually, he told me not to do it. Let’s be serious now: of course, there are unknown aspects, we’ll make a great leap into competition. Concerning our preparation, we finished what is called “precision work” last Thursday. Currently, the team is getting back to physical shape. True, many changes have been made compared to the team that played last season’s Top 14 final and you’ll see them on Sunday.
Have you learnt things from the pre-season games?
None! As far as we were concerned, we had to play these games to work on confrontations, which was complementary to our pre-season training, and we were not physically up to shape as we will be on Sunday. The only setbacks were the injuries some of the players picked up during the games. The defeat against Lyon has stimulated us, I think.
The team dropped many points in the early parts of the games against Clermont and Lyon…
True! We’ll try not to do the same mistakes, that’s our goal. In the four pre-season games, we dropped an average fifteen points over the first twenty minutes. But, for me, these games don’t count.
Personally, do you feel excited on the threshold of this new challenge?
I do, but my mission actually started two months ago. I’ve already done one fifth of the season with all the staff. But I’m still discovering the wonderful facilities, it’s the first time in my life I’ve been in such an environment. It’s quite unsual and stunning, as the Toulon fans belong to all the classes and have various backgrounds. The passion around the club is really incredible. That’s quite something!