Olivier Echouafni: 'Proud of my squad'
At the mid-point of the campaign, the Paris Saint-Germain women's team coach looks back over the first five months of the season in which his side have kept on the trail of Lyon.
Olivier, the year finished with a good win against Metz. Does that mean you can enjoy your holidays in peace?
"Yes, it was important to finish our first part of the season well. We did what had to be done. We were very thorough, we were professional and I think there was also a lot of enjoyment in this game with seven goals scored. The only cloud was the goal we conceded, but for the rest, I'm proud of my squad, proud of my girls. What they have accomplished and put into it means we can enjoy the break."
How would you sum up the first half of the season?
"Nearly all the signs are positive. Aside from the draw with Lille, which wasn't a good result, we're in the title race with Lyon. Lyon are a real class act and we're not far behind them and we are giving ourselves a chance to battle with them all the way. As for the Champions League, we'll host Chelsea in the quarter-finals in March. It's still a long way off, we'll prepare for that one calmly. We're going to analyse them. We'll also expect a lot of fans to come to that one as there will be a lot of interest. Hosting Chelsea in a Champions League quarter-final is a great tie."
What's the schedule for the squad ahead of starting training again in early January?
"They'll have a dozen days off and get back together on 2 January. The idea is that they rest, that they spend time with their families. They'll be all over the world, because they come from so many different places...you have to enjoy your family, it's very important, whether it be for Christmas or New Year. I'm sure they'll come back fresh and with a lot of determination."