In speaking to Nice-Martin, Monaco sporting director Paul Mitchell discussed the position of the club’s new coach Philippe Clement, saying he retains complete confidence in the Belgian coach despite some average results, including a 1-0 loss at Strasbourg this weekend, since his arrival in January and he will remain at the club into next season.
Do you still trust Philippe Clement?
“I have complete confidence in him. He’s a winner, an extremely studious and hardworking coach. He was still there at 9pm yesterday when I left the training ground. He’s the first to arrive and the last to leave. He’s a great coach. He’s also already shown that he knows how to help young players develop.”
So he’ll finish the season and will still be in the job for next season?
“Yes, we’ll give him all our support. We have to be patient and give him time. The last coach had our support for sixteen months, Philippe needs the same. He will be a great investment in the coming seasons for the club.”
Results are yet to arrive. What do you like about what he does?
“He has a tremendous work ethic, which I’ve only seen in the very best coaches. You have to be thorough and pay attention to all the details. He’s very good on the pitch and he’s a very good communicator, he can switch from one language to another – that’s very important for our squad.”
How do you react when people say you must regret firing Niko Kovac after poor recent results?
“You should never have regrets in life. I can make mistakes, of course, I’m a human being, but we did some very thorough analysis of the situation, with much more information than any commentator has. Sometimes you have to make decisions for the long-term, I know they’re not necessarily understood outside the club but they’re made for the good of the club.”
Should Philippe Clement be tougher with the players?
“On Sunday evening, if you’d asked the players: ‘Is Philippe Clement too soft?’ they would’ve told you, ‘no’. If you’d asked any of the staff ten meters from the dressing room door, they would have said the same thing. He’s a winner. If he was too laid back he wouldn’t have won any trophies. He was a central defender too, remember – I’ve never met a soft one. Of course, his management is different to Niko’s but don’t underestimate him.”