Speaking at new coach Philippe Clement’s unveiling press conference, Monaco sporting director Paul Mitchell explained the thinking behind Niko Kovač’s surprise sacking over the Christmas break.
“We absolutely have to show the greatest respect for Niko Kovač’s work. Together we’ve built the solid foundations of our project, he’s contributed to it. The performances from this summer until Christmas have shown us that we weren’t fulfilling our full potential. After the second half of last season, we thought we had a head start on our rivals. Our owners allowed us to keep all our players and strengthen the group to compete on all fronts but we’ve never been in the top five this season. We’ve not seen the same team as last year… Today, we’re 17 points behind the leaders. The gap is too big.”