Still looking for his first success, Espalion (12th) receives Thuir (6th) this Saturday at 6 p.m., during the 9th day of National 3. His coach, Julien Demetz looks back on the complicated start of his promoted. Maintenance.
Your start to the season is punctuated by failures and draws. Do you expect the step to be that high?
Yes, we knew that the level was higher. On the other hand, we were not prepared to accept it. And the draw at Orthez (27-27) in the first game of the season may have served us. Maybe we saw each other too handsome too soon.
Do the players manage to manage, mentally, to go from a more than successful season in Prénationale to a rough start in N3?
Players are fine. Of course, it would be easier to earn the weekend to work during the week. But it is an invested and conscientious group. The players are not going to give up.
Have you adapted things in the preparation or in the recovery in relation to your results?
Adapter… Not in the organization. We haven’t changed much, perhaps in the discourse. But we have evolved in our game plan. We decided to try it against Aurillac (November 12) and it paid off.
And what was this new game plan?
On a change of defensive project. By putting more ambitions, more risk-taking, by playing with the necessary quality in relation to the forces that present themselves to us. We cause more attacks, we cause bullet losses. The downside is that it wears you out physically and you take more penalties. We try to be more instigating in defense but it is above all a state of mind.
The very close match against Aurillac (29-29), during which you equalized at the very end, did it breathe new life into the group?
The players put a lot of will against Aurillac, which is more for a derby. We did not come far from victory, even if I came away with frustration because of missed shots in particular. Now it has progressed. It’s a new dynamic.
And last weekend in Arcachon (33-29), you led then stuck to the score, equalized… You kept the momentum of the previous match.
We went to Arcachon with the same intentions and we had a little more success. But we collapsed in the second half. And we weren’t complete, we had two absentees. Then we got a red card and one of our players got injured in the first half. That makes us two players less. We sinned physically but we did not come out disappointed with this match. We did what we wanted to propose, now it has to last. The last two weeks have been easier to live.
This new style of play is perhaps what you lacked until then to get your first success?
We do not master it but we approach what we lacked. The trigger will be real when we win and we go on. But in advance.