Paris St Germain boss Luis Enrique has admitted his team’s start to the season has not been good enough as they prepare to host Borussia Dortmund in their Champions League opener on Tuesday.
PSG have won just two of their opening five league games and suffered their first defeat on Friday when they were beaten 3-2 at home by Nice, leaving the reigning champions three points behind leaders Monaco.
Having taken charge in the summer, Enrique admits he is still getting used to his new side so has no cause for concern about developments so far, and promised that improved performances and results will start to come.
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) September 18, 2023
He told a press conference: “It is true it hasn’t been a great start, but when I start coaching a club, there is a lot of information I take in, a lot of situations to bear in mind.
“I have a very receptive team that is full of desire to take on new ideas, I am delighted with the conduct of the players and the team. The fans are fantastic, bringing total unconditional support, despite not so good results.
“It is a long process and from my experience I know it takes time. I am not wasting time because I already know how this works. I am very calm here, we will certainly be playing good football and getting good results.”
PSG have been among the favourites to win the Champions League in recent seasons but will be without some notable names this time around, with star forwards Lionel Messi and Neymar having left this summer while experienced midfielder Marco Verratti joined Al-Arabi last week.
The perennial Ligue 1 champions have yet to win the competition but came close in 2020, losing 1-0 to Bayern Munich in the final. They also reached the semi-final the following year but since then the big-spending French giants have fallen short of expectations with round of 16 exits in successive years.
Enrique still holds hope of bringing the trophy back to Paris but does not want to become obsessed over the idea.
He added: “We will have to see how the competition goes, football is a marvellous sport.
“Any result is possible, and in theory, any team can win. You can play well and lose. You might play badly and win. As a club we are convinced and motivated in every competition we are taking part in.
“The aim is to go as far as possible and try to win all of them. That is the objective of this club, it is ambitious.
“When a person or a team or club is obsessed with something, it is not a good sign. You need to be excited, you have to have hope and ambition. But being obsessed doesn’t work in any part of life.
“So we are excited and motivated. We are full of desire to put on a show for our fans, and we are looking forward to the start of this competition.”
Enrique thinks their defeat to Nice has little to do with their upcoming European encounter with Dortmund, who are unbeaten themselves in the league so far.
good start into insane weeks ahead of us. https://t.co/dSviI1yy11
— Marius Wolf (@mariuswolf27) September 16, 2023
Edin Terzic’s men are seventh in the Bundesliga with eight points from four games, sitting two points behind leaders Bayer Leverkusen following Saturday’s 4-2 win at Freiburg.
The Spaniard said: “The Nice game has nothing to do with the Dortmund game. They are different games in different competitions.
“There are many areas for improvement and many things of the team are doing well. I think the most important thing is what the fans can see, which is the team’s attitude. We don’t give up.”