2017 Gold Cup: Martinique boss Jean-Marc Civault says “we will give 100%” ahead of US match

Martinique boss Jean-Marc Civault says that his team “will give 100%” and “will have to be serious” against the United States, who he believes are the best team in Group B…

Martinique and the United States both held press conferences on Tuesday ahead of their Gold Cup Group B meeting at Raymond James Stadium on Wednesday (today). 

Head coach Jean-Marc Civault and defender-cum-midfielder Jordy Delem were in attendance for Martinique; meanwhile US manager Bruce Arena took the questions by himself. Civault spoke French and his answers were translated into English by Jordan Victoire from CONCACAF, while Delem spoke English. Below is the transcription from both press conferences.

Civault on the US match: My expectation is to really go 100% and for the players to represent our country as best as possible and especially to enjoy it and have fun. We know that this will be a different game [to Nicaragua], we are playing the best team in the group. So we have to be serious and most importantly defend well for the 90 minutes. Football is football. We know that we are amongst the smaller teams in this tournament. But once you get on the pitch, anyone can beat anyone. We will give 100% and see where that takes us.”

Civault on Martinique not being affiliated to FIFA: “It’s a challenge not being a part of FIFA. We know that being a part of FIFA would allow us access to a lot more resources which would enable us to play bigger teams and have better preparation. However, the French Football Federation don’t think it’s possible for now. So we are hoping in the Gold Cup we can show them that we have what it takes to become a FIFA member.”

Civault on Delem’s value to the team: “Jordy knows the system, he knows the country. Our goal is to show as many local players as we can. Our mentality at home is that we tend to think in order to become professional, we need to go to Europe or France. But America is closer to home. We hope that having Jordy will allow us to win this game.”

Delem on playing in central defence alongside captain Sebastien Cretinior: “I have already played at central midfield or centre-back [for Martinique], but I enjoy playing at centre-back. I have some amazing teammates who help me. For me it’s not a big deal. I am fine with playing in this position.”

Arena on the mood coming into this tie: “We look forward to the game on Wednesday. We are clearly coming off a result against Panama [1-1 draw] that we didn’t feel was very good. So we need a better showing against a team that had an impressive opening group game. It’ll be a tough match.”

Arena on the threat that Martinique can pose: “We watched their first group game and their games from the Caribbean Cup. So we have a decent feel for our opponent. I noticed that they are a good team going forward on the break. I apologise for not knowing their names apart from the left-back Jean-Baptiste who is a very good player. Number 11 on the left side of midfield, number 17 up top has been good, number 19 in holding midfield is an experienced player, as is number 21 at centre-back. They are a good, balanced team.” 

By Nathan Carr

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