Thursday, February 23, 2017

Emery demands attacking improvement from PSG

SoccerNews in English Premier League 31 Oct 2016

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Paris Saint-Germain boss Unai Emery has challenged his attacking players to improve their performances ahead of his side’s Champions League clash with Basel.

The Ligue 1 champions have produced some indifferent displays this season and already sit six points behind league leaders Nice after 11 matches, while they sit second behind Arsenal after three games in Group A.

PSG’s forward line has come in for criticism this season since the departure of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, with Edinson Cavani often singled out for his displays despite his winner against Lille on Friday taking him to 14 goals in 13 appearances.

Knowing that a victory over Basel will take them into the last 16 if Arsenal avoid defeat against Ludogorets, Emery has called on PSG to sharpen up in front of goal.

“We want to improve. We’ve played well in some games and not in others,” he said.

“This is a team in progress. The important thing for now is to win. I think we play well with the ball and in defence, but we need to improve our play in attack.

“The goal is to finish first in the group. This game is important for that.

“Basel are very motivated, they played a good game at Parc des Princes despite losing 3-0. We’re ready to play well.”

Emery revealed that midfielder Javier Pastore could make his return to the side after spending the last month on the sidelines with a calf injury.

Full-back Serge Aurier will miss out, however, as he has been granted extra time to recover from a persistent ankle problem.

“Every player is important. There’s a lot of experience here at PSG,” said Emery.

“He [Pastore] knows the group. He has individual quality, he plays between the lines, he recovers the ball, makes important passes…

“His season has been hampered because of an injury. It’s possible that he’ll play [on Tuesday], either from the start or off the bench.

“Aurier has had an ankle problem since the match against Monaco. He’s played a lot of games since, but he said after training that he wasn’t feeling good.

“For me, it’s better that he stays in Paris to treat his ankle. Hopefully he can be with us for the next game.”

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