Leonardo Jardim has called on Monaco to move on quickly from their Champions League elimination and “play with ambition” against title rivals Paris Saint-Germain.
Monaco won Ligue 1 last season and reached the last four of Europe’s premier club competition, but a series of key departures have contributed to a six-point league deficit to PSG and a group-stage exit in the Champions League.
Kylian Mbappe was one of last term’s stars who moved on, joining big-spending PSG and contributing to an outstanding start to the campaign.
The France international’s return will be one of the key flashpoints of Sunday’s meeting, but Jardim wants his side to retain their focus and keep working hard to close the gap to the league leaders.
“We missed the goal of qualifying in the Champions League; now we have to move on and think about the current goals: Ligue 1 and the two domestic cups,” said the coach.
“We will play against a very strong team. [PSG] did not take any risks by buying very big players: two of the best players, from the FIFPro World XI [Neymar] and the Golden Boy [Mbappe].
“We need to continue to play with ambition. The league is more competitive this season. Paris are above the others, then there are four or five teams who will play for the podium.
— AS Monaco (@AS_Monaco) November 24, 2017
“PSG are the favourites every year, but even more so this season.
“We will try to stay balanced and play with a good attitude. We will need to stay compact, to leave little space. Then we play our football when we get the ball. It’s a heated match that everyone wants to play and win.”
Despite the European failure, Jardim believes that his Monaco side can continue to deliver as they have in previous seasons.
“Trust is not bought in the transfer market, you acquire it in the work,” he continued. “I am confident. I have confidence in our project but we cannot ask for impossible things.
“This is my fourth season here and the project has always worked. In four years, we made a semi-final and a quarter-final in the Champions League. We finished on the podium in the league three times, being champions of France as the outsider.
“We managed it all with, each time, 12 to 15 players who were very young; and I do not make the calculation of our sales, of which you know the amount.
“We are the dream of many clubs. Except that this season, despite all this, we have not managed to be competitive in the Champions League. It’s like that.”
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