Nîmes Olympique is doing much better but is still far from being saved

Nîmes Olympique is doing much better but is still far from being saved

The Crocos have regained defensive solidity but, like Orphé Mbina, here against Châteauroux, they must now demonstrate more efficiency in attack. MAXPPP – SERGE VIALLE

Undefeated for four games, the Crocos have raised the bar but maintaining their position will require many other efforts. Starting with the reception at Villefranche Beaujolais, this Friday, February 23, on behalf of the 22nd day of National.

"It’s good, it’s better, but it’s not enough, the balance is still fragile. We have only just left the relegation zone, remaining is far away, the hardest part remains to be done." His team may well be the best in the Championship since the start of the return phase, with ten points out of twelve scored, Frédéric Bompard keeps his feet on the ground.

"We can't afford to let our guard down"

"We must never forget where we come from", he recalls, he who always remembers the terrible slump of his team, and these six defeats of ;rsquo;in a row. "It’s not been easy to get out of this negative dynamic. We never gave up, we worked and we are reaping the rewards today but we cannot afford to let our guard down and do less."

National ranking

407 minutes without a goal conceded

Nîmes is going through "a very prosperous period" because defensive solidity has been rediscovered, and the abandonment of the 5-3-2 to return a four-man defense is no stranger to this. It's been 407 minutes since young Pradowski hasn't conceded a goal…

Collective questioning and better individual performances

What has changed ? "There was a collective questioning, replies Diouf, suspended this evening, the first match he will miss since his arrival, after having played the entirety of the last eighteen. There are also the individual performances of each one which are better than in 2023 and we have a great goalkeeper who knows how to be decisive when necessary."

The Echoes of the Crocos

Choice.Bompard made three changes to the victorious group at Châteauroux. Diouf (suspended), who will be replaced in the central hinge by Paviot for his first match in National, Delpech and Laurens were replaced by Burner, Sacko and Sané, the Senegalese striker, who arrived in the winter transfer window, making his first appearance there .

The probable team. Paradowski – Sbaï, Mendy (cap.), Paviot, Diallo – Mexico, Doukansy, Picouleau – Camara, Mbina, Mbemba. Substitutes: Sacko, Burner, Thoumin, Sané, Doucouré. Absent: Delpech, Laurens, Fa. Ondoa, Ngakoutou, Wade (choice), Sy (strain), Labonne (recovery), Cozzella (elbow), Diouf (suspended).

The opponent. Villefranche, with three matches to replay, is potentially third in the National! "It’is a very good team, solid and with a coherent organization, which is applying to move up to L2", assures Bompard. A team which, "balanced defensively and impactful offensively”, according to its coach Romain Revelli, remains on a 4-0 success in front of Dijon. " In Nîmes, it's going to be a big match, certified the Rhone coach at a press conference. It’s a team that remains on a good run, which is confident. We feel that they play liberated, they do not concede any chances. For our part, we did very good things against Dijon and the hardest part is to repeat that now. That will be the theme of this meeting."

For the former Versailles player, if the crocodile team has become hermetic, it does not owe it to its defenders alone. "It’s a team effort. The first defensive curtain is provided by the attackers who do their part of the job (like Mbina, who gets involved and participates more in losing the ball, Editor's note). Nobody cheats, there isn't a player who doesn't make an effort."

Important to score more

Having become impermeable again, the Nîmes were able to "regain confidence", but "we must not give up, warns Diouf, we cannot afford it because we don&rsquo ;has no margin". NO is therefore doing better because it has closed ranks behind. NO will do even better when he finds the path to the opponent's goal more often. The Crocos, who only have the 16th attack, have never scored more than two goals, a total achieved on only four occasions.

Sané, the little more offensive ?

"This is where we need to progress, agrees Bompard. The problem is not the way to attack or play because we create situations. But you have to take care of the crosses, frame the shots, apply yourself more, perform the final movements better, better master the finishing technique. It happens through work but it doesn't come overnight."

The presence of Sané should help remedy this problem. "In addition to his experience, I hope that he will bring us a little extra offensive soul", hopes Bompard who concludes: "Even if we have zero certainty , this team fills me with hope."

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