March 29, 2017

Blame players not Emery for PSG slump – Verratti

Paris Saint-Germain may trail leaders Nice by seven points by the end of the weekend, but the midfielder does not believe it is the manager’s fault

Midfielder Marco Verratti has backed under-fire Unai Emery to come good at Paris Saint-Germain, claiming it is down to the players to take responsibility for their form slump.

A 2-1 defeat at Guingamp on Saturday represented PSG’s second successive away loss in Ligue 1 and made it one win in their last five games in all competitions, leaving the champions at risk of losing further ground on title rivals Nice and Monaco, who both play on Sunday.

Leaders Nice could finish the weekend seven points clear of PSG, but Verratti moved quickly to laud former Sevilla boss Emery, who only took charge in June, and cooled suggestions that the club is in a crisis.

“We lost a lot of matches. This is not good for us. But the only thing to do is not to talk and work even harder,” Verratti said.

“I repeat we must do better.

“It’s not because of the coach. It’s us. It’s a problem of concentration, not of tactics. We always play in the same way.

“For me, Emery is a great coach. He works every day very hard with us. The result is bad but it is not his fault.

“But in the last four years we have had the habit of dominating and being ahead with a good lead. Today, from the start we think we’ve already won the game.

“Last year we won because we entered the field at 100 per cent. This is no longer the case.

“It’s a difficult time and more needs to be done. I trust the club. Crisis? I do not know, but if you’re in third place, you do not play well enough. We cannot be in third. We must do much more.

“It’s going to be tough but we have to get back. We still have chances to win the championship. In my head I want to win all the matches.”