Soccer - Rodez.  Joris Chougrani: "It will be easier this season" for maintenance

Soccer – Rodez. Joris Chougrani: “It will be easier this season” for maintenance

While Rodez (16th) equaled his sad record from last season, ie 14 games in a row without a win, including six defeats, his central defender Joris Chougrani says he is more optimistic than in the previous year for maintenance. And this, before a trip to Quevilly, 18th, which is akin to a turning point on Saturday, at 7 p.m. (32nd day of Ligue 2).

After eleven games missed out of twelve from December 3 to March 12 due to two injuries, your return against Guingamp (he entered in the 46th minute), three days later, changed the face of the team. You found the starting lineup at Sochaux (0-2) then you continued when you received Niort (1-1), scoring a goal. All this aggressiveness on the ground, was it also to make you forgive after having played injured the second half in Pau (4-0) without having informed your coach?

It was not to catch up with me, it happened what happened there. I especially wanted to play again after having been away from the lawns for a long time. I don’t want to go down to National. The Raf is my club, so I give 200%. Facing the Guingampais, we find ourselves at ten (following the exclusion of Julien Célestine) before the break at 0-1, nothing worse could have happened to us. We absolutely had to equalize, so good if my entry changed things. In the field, I am a motivational leader. And even though I’m not a vocal person, I know how to raise my voice when necessary. But the problem is that with the pressure of the result to avoid relegation, we are no longer the same on the pitch, we have fear in our stomachs. We played in this state of mind in the first half. It was the same in Grenoble, where the second was, again, much better qualitatively.

Against Niort, there was also better, before yet another individual error deprived you of a victory again.

When we no longer make these mistakes, we can get the three points. We were disappointed because we wanted to win. But we are not relegated and we took one point more than our direct competitors on this day.

Rodez remains on a series of 14 games without a win, like last season. Except that this year, it’s not in January and there are only seven games left to reverse the trend. Do you feel that this group is capable of it?

At the time, we were more at the bottom of the bucket. I feel it will be easier this season. Especially since at the 2020-2021 break, everyone sent us to the National. We were asked how we were preparing for the descent, how many people we would have on the lower floor… We were buried and it was hard on people’s heads. The current group has different personalities. Just watch the workout. No one argues, stay in their corner, we talk to each other… The atmosphere is not gloomy, it’s quite the opposite. We are actors, not passive. We don’t talk at all about this negative series between us.

Your last in Quevilly, on April 5, 2019, ended in a 0-1 victory which offered you the match of the rise in Ligue 2 at Paul-Lignon.

I hope that this move will also be a shift in the right direction. We did not mention it, whether between old or with new ones. There, another championship begins. We must forget what happened before. In Quevilly, it will be a final, so I don’t want to think about the following meetings either. You have to win at home to have a small mattress in advance (five points). In addition, if they lose at home against a direct competitor, it will be complicated in their heads. The sooner we get the job done, the better.

Especially since this season, there is also the construction site of the stadium in the balance.

I want to see this new enclosure finished, and in Ligue 2. I will have lived everything here. I left the CFA (current National 2) at the club and I progressed with him. Then we have the pressure because we know that if we go down, the leaders will clean up. We don’t have permanent contracts here, we’re on fixed-term contracts. And if we have our name displayed on a descent, afterwards, to find a team that has ambition…

Exactly, how do you see your future?

I’m starving ! If I can play until I’m 40… If it’s in Rodez, so much the better. I hope this wish will come true, but it will depend on my performance. I am under contract until June 2023 and we have not entered into discussions about an extension. Once the club is maintained, we will see what the president (Pierre-Olivier Murat) and the general manager (Gregory Ursule) want to do.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.