Benoît Kounkoud: 'There are only big matches coming up!'

Following his return to competition in the 32-29 win over Dunkerque on Thursday, Paris Saint-Germain Handball right-winger Benoît Kounkoud talked about last week's international break as well as the Rouge et Bleus' upcoming clashes. How was your international break?

Benoît Kounkoud: I made the most of it by getting some rest but I also kept working physically with the coaching staff. My family came to visit me and it did me good to have my people with me. It was also positive on the home front, where a lot more cooking and cleaning got done (laughs).

What did you make of France's Golden League performances?

They were a chance for some new players to be tested and for some understandings to be developed. It's a little competition that comes at a pretty bizarre point in the season. There were some good and not-so-good things, but there is no cause for concern going forward.

Benoît Kounkoud: 'There are only big matches coming up!'

Among the new faces we saw, there was Dylan Nahi!

Congratulations to him, because it's a huge deal to earn your first cap and score your first goals for your country. I was very happy for him!

You got back to league duties against Dunkerque. It was the beginning of a long run of matches up until the winter break…

The rhythm will be very intense. There are only big matches coming up! We have a squad that can bear up under the pressure, we can rotate and stay in good physical condition. Personally, I feel good and I'm raring to go for this second phase of the first half of the season!

Benoît Kounkoud: 'There are only big matches coming up!'

There's also the Coupe de la Ligue against Nantes…

That will be a huge battle. We know they're very hard to beat and they love to push us around. It'll be a great match and we'll do hat's necessary to win it and go as far as possible in a competition that we won last season, beating Nantes in the final.

On Sunday, you'll be back in Velux EHF Champions League action against Kielce, also at home. Is that an advantage?

Playing two matches at home in a row, with our fans there to spur us on once again, is a great thing. We'll do all we possibly can to get the win!

With the injury to Luc Abalo, you have become the starting right-winger. How has this period been for you?

Since the beginning of the season, I've been sharing game time with Lucio. I have developed a certain confidence! Now I just need to build on that and keep working hard as long as he is out of action. I'm not putting pressure on myself; I'm just doing what I do best.

Benoît Kounkoud: 'There are only big matches coming up!'

Check out this first part of our interview with Benoît Kounkoud on video.

(Credits: TeamPics/PSG)