FTC: I feel the goal, and that's a good sign – Franck Boli
Franck Boli was on vacation in France and Africa during the summer holidays and is mentally fresh for the new season, which he says is more important than his physical condition.
|Franck Boli knows that they have to perform well immediately in the Champions League qualifiers (Photo: Miklós Szabó)|
– Are you ready for the rematch against Tobol?
– In the last few days, we have been waking up and going to bed with the thought of the second game – said Franck Boli, the 28-year-old Ivorian striker of Ferencváros, who transferred to Üllői út on August 1, 2019. – We were training hard this weekend and are preparing for the match against the Kazakh team.
– In the end, could you decide whether the 0-0 result was good or bad there?
– That's a difficult question... Everyone knows we wanted to win, but in Kazakhstan, no matter that we gave it our, it just didn't work out. A goalless draw may not be as bad of a result as many people think. It is the Kazakhs who fought on home soil, they play their matches in the championship, they were in shape, and many fans encouraged them from the stands. It will be different on Wednesday, though.
– How much did you feel on the pitch that last week was the team's first competitive match of the season?
– It was indeed the first, but you can't blame it on a poor performance. We are all aware that there is no time to get into shape, and that we have to perform well immediately in the Champions League qualifiers. Fortunately, we are used to this in recent years. We know that there can be no mistakes here. That's why we're fully concentrating on the match, it's important how the first clashes of the season go.
– It seemed that it was not easy to break Tobol's defense. What do you think can lead to results in the Groupama Aréna?
– As a striker, I felt that the Kazakh full-backs were massively compacted, but we were prepared for that, as we could see from the video footage that the backline was very cohesive, which is perhaps the rival's biggest strength. In Kazakhstan, we rarely got behind the defense line and had few opportunities. However, it is also true that we have several players in our squad who can decide the rematch with a flash. We can play better than last week, we are all aware of that. Fradi is a better team than Tobol, there is no question about that – but, of course, we have to prove it.
– I feel in good shape, and my form is much better than it was in the early stages of preparation. I feel the goal in training, and that's a good sign.
– As a striker, you will also have to fight for a place in the squad, with Mali's national team player, Adama Traoré, joining the squad as a new player in the summer and Ryan Mmaee due to return from his injury. Should you take your chance now?
– In Fradi, there is a lot of competition in every position, and we have gotten used to that in recent years. We have a strong squad. I trained hard during the preparation, but at the end of the day, it's up to our head coach, Stanislav Cherchesov. If I get the chance, I will try to do my best. I scored in the preparation matches, and I hope to do the same in the competitive matches at the beginning of the season as soon as possible.
– What kind of a rematch do you expect? Will the Kazakhs play rock-solid defense, or will they play more openly?
– They certainly won't give up on the tough defense, but we have to concentrate on ourselves. We have to dictate the tempo and show right from the start that we are the better team. No matter how, we have to win the game on Wednesday. This time it's really all about the result!
– Where did you rest during the summer?
– First, we went to France to visit my wife's family, then I went back to Africa. It was good to see the people back home. I spent only a few days in Côte d'Ivoire, then I returned to France and after a while, we came back to Budapest. It was nice to relax and unwind. I also managed to recharge mentally, and that's probably more important than how fit I am physically. Hopefully, we're looking at another long season, we need to keep up the pace and the workload, and we need a clear head for that! This is the only way to be successful against Tobol on Wednesday.
He regrets that they did not win. Tobol winger Zoran Tošić says they had a chance to beat Ferencváros in the first leg of their Champions League qualifier, and despite the
goalless draw, the mood in the Kazakh dressing room was good.
"It's a pity that we didn't get the advantage for the rematch," he said in an interview with prosports.kz. "I know Cherchesov, I remember the days when he was in charge of the Russian national team. He's a great professional, he always does a quality job, and now he's doing the same at Ferencváros."
The 35-year-old 76-capped Serbian footballer has played in 27 Champions League and 23 Europa League matches in his career.
"I don't feel any pressure ahead of the second leg against FTC. I always do the best I can, and that will be the case this Wednesday as well. We have other experienced players in our squad, we can make it through. It's a shame I didn't score or assist in the first game, but I'll try to make up for it in Budapest. I know a lot of people think Ferencváros is the favorite, but I believe in our team."
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE QUALIFIERS
8pm: FERENCVÁROS–Tobol (Kazakhstan) – live on NSO!