Rodez between passion and reason
The Raf is going to Auxerre this evening to play in the round of 16 of the Coupe de France, the third in its history. But this prestigious poster is somewhat overshadowed by the delicate situation in the league and the crucial match which is looming against Nîmes on Saturday.
It’s a week like no other that the players of Rodez Aveyron football will experience. Between two competitions, two objectives, two such opposite realities, the intoxication of a cup where the craziest conquests are allowed on a daily basis in a championship where the penultimate of Ligue 2 have so much to lose. Which leads to a paradox. The evening trip has all of the historic match, if we invoke the prestige of traveling to Auxerre, resident of Ligue 1 and the rarity of finding themselves at this stage of the competition, since it is the third 8th of Raf final in the competition (after 1991 and 2009). Only, its scope is relativized by the next meeting. Because the reception of Nîmes, Saturday, a direct competitor in the race to maintain, promises to be crucial for the rest of the events.
Between the glory of a historic epic and the importance of saving its place in the second professional division, blood and gold have established a sense of priorities. “I was not asked to win the Coupe de France”, asserted Didier Santini, the coach who arrived on the Piton in November. Proof of this choice: he should thus align a very redesigned starting lineup, this evening, in which Louis Torres and Jung-bin Park could appear for the first time. Some regular captains, such as Akim Abdallah, Rémy Boissier, Bradley Danger, Lorenzo Rajot and Clément Depres, should be spared by starting on the bench. Serge-Philippe Raux-Yao (ischios) and Marvin Senaya (suspended) will not be on the move, nor will Eric Vandenabeele, preserved after being uncertain for a long time, he whose painful adductors had prevented him from playing against Sochaux (1 -2), Friday. “We’re not going to take any risks.explained his trainer. This allows you to have a fresh player in both matches.”
In Monaco, the changes did not prevent the feat
The priority is elsewhere, we understand that, but we must not conclude that the exploit is impossible. “The match against Monaco was also secondary”, recalled Didier Santini, in reference to the 32nd final at the end of which his men had released a team from the top of the Ligue 1 table (2-2, 5-4 tab). Proof that, even revamped, the Aveyron team can find the resources to extend their adventure, as they had already done in Saint-Etienne (L2; 0-0, 4-3 on pens) when they entered the running. It should not be hidden that the Auxerrois, even if they evolve on the upper floor, are in a situation similar to that of the blood and gold, from the top of their 19th place and four days from facing Angers , another relegation. The temptation to change is also likely to be great among the Burgundians. “It’s up to us to make them doubt”warned the Aveyron coach.
“Everyone is aware of the work to be done to reach the quarter-finals”, he supported. While her team has turned into a penalty shootout specialist, since she also took out Grasse (N2) in this way, in the previous round, she can extend her enchanted break from the cup, on the sidelines of her main quest. As to whether this would be beneficial or handicapping for the maintenance race? Never mind. After all, the Raf has the opportunity to write one of his greatest adventures in the Coupe de France. We have already seen less exciting secondary objectives.