Oviri Kelvin, Sports Editor, Abuja
Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) director of football, Leonardo Nascimento de Araújo says the club’s manager Mauricio Pochettino is still part of PSG’s plans till the end of the season.
This he stated after PSG were stunned 3-2 on aggregate by Real Madrid in the round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League contests.
According to Leonardo, the club, despite its desperation to win the European trophy, can not explore the option that will cause them to start from scratch.
He acknowledged that PSG had control of the game until halftime but could not fathom how they lost at the Santiago Bernabeu.
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Speaking to the media he said, “We shouldn’t throw everything in the bin.
“We shouldn’t start from scratch after every loss. The objective is to win the Champions League, and until half-time we were fine,” he added.
Leonardo stressed that the team will have to improve its performance by maintaining the morale to play in the domestic league so that they can finish the season on a good note.
Why he waved the option to consider Pochettino’s job, he accepted that PSG underwent a painful defeat that is hard to let go of.
“We have to look to improve this team and maintain morale to play in Ligue 1 and to finish the season well. We should stay together.”
“Pochettino is still part of the project for this season. It’s not the time to think about that.”
“It’s a tough one to take. We can’t bury everything that was done. It’s hard to analyse,” he said.
The director of football accepted that PSG made some blunders in the game but pointed out that the referee could not change the situation the moment PSG’s goalkeeper Donnarumma was fouled in such an important contest.
He continued, “The incident of the foul on Donnarumma was crucial, but we struggled to manage that moment. We lost control. We need to look for solutions. But it’s a shame that a referee’s decision can be so influential in that sort of moment.
“But we should stay calm. We made errors, we should change things but we shouldn’t look back on everything. It’s difficult but, up until the half time we were a well-organised team,” he added.
The quarterfinal draws will be done on March 18 at Nyon, Switzerland followed by the semi-final draws the same day to preempt the teams to be strategic on their route to the final at Paris.