Paris St Germain head coach Thomas Tuchel is braced for a hostile reception from his side’s fans ahead of their Ligue 1 clash with Nice.
PSG secured the league title last month but have won just one of their last six games in all competitions and squandered a 2-0 lead in the Coupe de France final before losing to Rennes on penalties.
“Currently it’s a bit of a strange moment in the season because we are champions but we lost the final – it was difficult for us to prepare for this final,” Tuchel told a pre-match press conference.
“All I can say is that we don’t have enough players that are fit, we don’t have enough competition between the players to try and develop them and grow as a team and evolve.
“It’s the same situation as it has been for the last few weeks now. The lads, first and foremost are human beings, they are not machines. But we want everybody to show they have the mental resources and that team spirit to win the game tomorrow.”
Asked if there would be a hostile atmosphere at the Parc des Princes, Tuchel added: “It is possible, they were very hostile after we lost to Manchester United (in the last 16 of the Champions League). I don’t know if it really helps us, but yes of course it’s possible.
“They might show that they are upset but we need to accept that. We gave away that 2-0 lead in the final, that’s our fault and now we need to accept any reaction that comes our way.”
Tuchel will be without the suspended Kylian Mbappe, who was sent off in the cup final, and the injured trio of Thiago Silva, Thomas Meunier and Thilo Kehrer, while Layvin Kurzawa and Edinson Cavani are doubtful.
Nice manager Patrick Vieira accepts Youcef Atal will be under the spotlight on Saturday following his hat-trick against Guingamp, but insists the club will not be selling the 22-year-old Algerian.
“I do not even ask myself because we are not sellers,” Vieira said in quotes reported by L’Equipe. “The clubs are not going to call the president just because he has scored three goals against Guingamp.
“Since the beginning of the season, he is one of the very good players in the Championship. Clubs will of course be interested but we are not sellers. The message is clear, period.”
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