Paris Saint-Germain defender Gregory van der Wiel has defended the level of competition in Ligue 1, insisting it is not an easy league to win.
The holders sit seven points clear of Angers in second with just over a quarter of the campaign gone following Sunday’s 4-1 win over Saint-Etienne at the Parc des Princes.
With traditional title rivals struggling to challenge so far and PSG remaining unbeaten, Van der Wiel dismissed suggestions the league was already won.
“This is an important victory for the team,” he told L’Equipe following Sunday’s win.
“It is true that in the championship our team has a good margin but you have to be focused on each game. I do not believe it’s easy. We still have to win.
“For me, it’s always special to come back because I have not played too much lately. It is not always easy to come back but I have to stay focused and help the team.”
Layvin Kurzawa, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Edinson Cavani and Lucas Moura were all on target at the weekend – Lucas having come off the bench to wrap up the scoring three minutes from time.
Like Van der Wiel, Lucas has faced increased competition for a starting berth this term as Laurent Blanc seeks to challenge in Europe as well as domestically.
And the Brazilian added: “It feels good to score and especially with a header. This is a special moment.
“It is not always easy to come on with 10 minutes left because you have to find the rhythm. But I try to give my all.
“There is a lot of competition in our team and we must keep that collective spirit. The important thing is to show that you are ready if needed – I’m here to help the team.”