Even without supporters, Nîmes Olympique players can count on invaluable support at home. A kop led by the substitutes and the injured was organized to ensure the atmosphere in Costières. He should respond again on Sunday with a crucial match for the maintenance against Saint-Etienne (5:05 p.m.).
Who said there was no more atmosphere in Ligue 1? That the stadiums had become as calm as a sleeping volcano? Certainly not the Nîmes Olympique players. In recent weeks, a little kop has arisen for home games. Not with supporters, behind closed doors, but with the substitutes, the injured, the suspended, in short all those who are not used by Pascal Plancque. With Pablo Martinez in charge of the pack. Not the type to sit quietly in the stands, the experienced central defender, touched in the sacrum and away from the field for four months, is one of those who had the idea of waking up the Costières. Lucas Deaux, who missed a few games in February and March, obviously followed him.
“It starts with a laugh and a good intention,” says the former Nantes resident, convinced that this improvised kop has its role to play in the fight for maintenance. The objective is simple: to give voice again and again to push the holders, those who are lucky to be on the field, to give everything to save the club, current 18th and barrage. Coincidence or not, the Crocs have regained a certain solidity at home. They have not lost in the league on their land since the 4-3 suffered against Monaco on February 7. They have since dominated Bordeaux (2-0), Lorient (1-0), drawn against Nantes (1-1) after being led, and shared the points with Montpellier (1-1), a candidate for European places. .
“If we yell like sagoons, it can have an impact!
“At the base, we mounted our heads all alone, like kids. We said to ourselves that we were going to mess around a bit. Without putting pressure, but even for the opponent it can play. Every time. that there is an arbitration decision, a rotten touchdown… If we yell like sagoons on the side, that can have an impact! (smile) We can see it, I think that the arbitration decisions are really influenced by the shouts . There is no longer the atmosphere of the public which can influence or not a decision. It is up to us to do it. It can always help. The guy on the field thinks that the guy in the stands is behind him ” , continues Lucas Deaux, at the club since 2019. On his sidelines, Pascal Plancque can only appreciate the spectacle happening behind his back. The proof that the phrase “the group is living well” can really make sense.
“It’s important that the players in the stands bring this energy to their friends who are on the pitch. It’s impressive! I started to feel it in the last few games. We really have an active, committed and determined kop. We see that the guys are in the project, whether they play or not. It is also a satisfaction for the staff, we manage to mobilize everyone for the moment “, relishes the Gardois coach, promoted to number one after the dismissal of Jérôme Arpinon in early February.
The new Nîmes kop will however lose one of the founding members this weekend: Anthony Briançon. Cleared of his hamstring injury, the captain is back for the reception of Saint-Etienne, Sunday (5:05 p.m.), on the occasion of the 31st day of Ligue 1. “Maybe he has to remains in the stands. I’m going to tell him, I’m not sure he’ll be happy, “his coach laughs.
“We had a good time! There was the derby, an important and a little crazy match against Lorient with Renaud (Ripart) who scores at the end (in the 89th minute, editor’s note). I see the referee go and see the VAR and us in the stands we were screaming like mad! It is important that the players who are not in the group are present for those who are. It shows the unity of a group “, confirms Anthony Briançon, guest this Saturday evening of the “Infiltrators” on RMC, on the eve of a crucial duel for the maintenance. The Greens have been warned, the Costières stadium is once again ready to merge.