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Claude Puel praises Saint-Étienne team after draw against Angers: “They showed character.”

Speaking to the press after his side snatched a dramatic late equaliser to earn a point at home against Angers, Saint-Étienne manager Claude Puel praised the team’s character.

His words transcribed in L’Équipe, the ASSE coach underlined that although the result was not enough – the club remain winless this season as pressure continues to mount on the manager – he was nevertheless proud of the performance he saw on the pitch.

The kick-off had been delayed by an hour after tension among Saint-Étienne fans boiled over and led to flares being thrown onto the pitch, which notably damaged the nets in both goals. Once the match eventually kicked off at 10pm local time, Angers had gone 2-0 up after an hour with their only shots on target of the game, through Traoré and Fulgini. Wahbi Khazri halved the deficit soon after, before Nade’s late header – only confirmed by VAR in the 97th minute – rescued the point.

“My players were fantastic in adversity, first of all with regard to the scenario of the match. They showed character, quality and a lot of solidarity to grab that equaliser in stoppage time, it shows they don’t give up. They are fully aware of the situation we are going through but they are giving it their all to get out of it. It wasn’t enough, but I’m proud of the performance they put in under those conditions.”

 

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