Luis Enrique: 'The Coupe de France is a great motivator'

The Paris Saint-Germain coach answered questions from PSG TV and the media ahead of Wednesday's Coupe de France semi-final against Stade Rennais (21:10). Excerpts.


"After such an important match for us, it was wonderful to feel that support from the public, for me as well as for me, for the players, for the club."


"The result against Rennes didn't reflect the game. We had 15 chances on goal. I think Rennes are a very good team, who are well prepared defensively."


"After eight months, we're at the perfect moment. We need to give something extra to play in a Coupe de France final. It's motivating and attractive to feel that with the players. It's time to get that extra bit of motivation."


"It's a great motivator because of the competition, but also because of the proximity of the final. One more step and we'll be in the final! It's a very powerful incentive, and it's more than enough for us to see a very good version of our team."


"It could be positive, it's a 90-minute match, with no extra time. That means it could be like a UEFA Champions League return leg, when you're playing for qualification. But we've been ready to play important matches since the start of the season. We did it in the UEFA Champions League group matches and in Marseille."


"That's my job as coach, with my staff. The squad is above all the individuals. Above the group, there's the club. And from there, we give confidence and minutes to most of the players. I can't give minutes to everyone, I can't be hypocritical. But my staff and I are convinced that twenty players is better than eleven or twelve. Twenty-three players determined to win titles is easier. Whoever is going to play will have confidence and knows that the coach will have confidence because he's had minutes. On the day the decision is made, we know that everyone is going to contribute. When there are absentees, we feel it as little as possible. We're still alive in all competitions, and we have options for our game. And everyone will be able to play."


"As a staff, we make decisions. Marquinhos and Nuno Mendes have already recovered. Recovering for training is one thing, taking part in a match is another. We don't like taking risks, and I don't take risks with any player, even if it's tempting with important players. We're thinking about the player's health. These minutes and these matches will be good for the players who have a little less condition and less playing time. Nuno and Marquinhos, like Milan Skriniar, who played part of the previous match, are in good condition. It's also good for the other team-mates, who have the time they need to recover while taking as few risks as possible."