“We are going to bed much earlier than usual.
New Year's Eve will be calm for the Lensois, Franck Haise joked about it at a press conference, this Saturday, on the eve of January 1 and the reception of Paris Saint-Germain (8:45 p.m. Prime Video).
The Sang et Or will go green before this clash between the Ligue 1 leader and his runner-up.
"It's up to us to be professional and to rest," said Seko Fofana.
I don't think about New Year's Eve, my phone will be off at midnight.
The golden outfit is not synonymous with the end of the year but reminds the transmission of a sacred holiday ⛏️
On the occasion of #RCLPSG, home resumption match, Racing Club de Lens will celebrate Sainte-Barbe in Bollaert and will sport one of his iconic crests 🟡⚫️ pic.twitter.com/4sHK4cxZje
— Racing Club de Lens (@RCLens) December 31, 2022
Seven points behind PSG in the standings, the Artésiens made no secret of approaching this match with particular determination.
“We try to be up to par with each match, but maybe even more so when it's Paris,” confirms Haise.
“There is a lot of pressure against this kind of opponents, engages Fofana.
But we will try to stay as natural as possible.
Not one to close the game, the Lensois coach is aware "that we will have to defend well" but hopes to show a conquering face.
“During the last games against PSG, we defended well but we also tried to attack well.
“Since their return to the top flight in the summer of 2020, the RCL have had a balanced record against Paris: one victory, one defeat and two draws.
“An excellent choice to name Galtier”
According to Fofana, Lens “outperforms” permanently.
If he does not think he can "compete with PSG for a whole season", the Ivorian midfielder believes his team is better armed than in previous duels.
“In our first season in Ligue 1, we were good offensively but we conceded a lot of goals.
We have managed to improve, our defenders are preparing well.
This allows us to make the difference and win on wide scores, or not.
“With 10 goals conceded, the Sang et Or also share the best defense in the championship with the Parisian leader.
The Paris native warns the capital club: “We are used to dealing with complicated situations, to turn the game around, even sometimes when we were at ten.
“PSG knows what to expect.
Against Starsbourg (2-1), he almost lost two points, surprised by the Alsatian equalizer and the expulsion of Neymar.
Haise expects a more open match than the draw obtained in Nice (0-0).
“There will be opportunities in transition.
We will have to be precise tactically, even if we have not been able to work on the tactical aspect on the ground.
We are 36 hours from the Nice match and we are still on recovery sessions.
“The artesian coach is wary of the range of possibilities available to Christophe Galtier, in terms of individuals and worked systems.
“The Parisian staff works with a lot of intelligence and reflection.
It was an excellent choice to appoint Christophe this summer.
Asked about Mbappé, Haise also addressed a warm word to the Bondynois.
“Lens supporters are first and foremost football lovers.
I think they will give a warm welcome to Mbappé, who has done a lot for the France team.