Nene: We can handle the pressure
Paris St Germain midfielder Nene is confident the team can handle the extra pressure they will carry on their shoulders this season as they prepare for their Ligue 1 opener against Lorient. A summer takeover of the club by Qatar Sports Investments has brought an injection of cash and signalled the arrival of seven new players so far in the transfer window.
That has elevated PSG to the position of title favourites but it is not a tag the players are afraid of, according to Nene. "It is clear that we have entered a different dimension, but the atmosphere within the squad remains the same," the Brazilian said on www.psg.fr. "The newcomers have quickly acclimatised and everyone is excited about the new season.
"The pressure will be greater on us. There is more money, but we can handle it and will forget about it on the pitch. It simply makes everyone want to work. You can see that in training. Everyone wants to play and help the team. We all want to start the season well. We want to win against Lorient and we will do everything we can to achieve that."
Nicolas Douchez, Kevin Gameiro, Jeremy Menez, Blaise Matuidi, Milan Bisevac, Mohamed Sissoko and Salvatore Sirigu are the new faces at the Parc des Princes. Douchez has an ankle injury, though, and will miss tomorrow's match along with Sissoko, who is not match-fit. Sylvain Armand is also suspended.
Striker Gameiro is expected to play against the club he left this summer, having netted 22 goals for Lorient last season. Despite his absence, Les Merlus will be aiming to better their 11th-placed finish and coach Christian Gourcuff has also strengthened his squad with seven new players.
However, Gourcuff has a host of injury problems to contend with for the trip to Paris with Arnaud Le Lan (back), Sigamarry Diarra (knee), Sebastian Dubarbier (foot) and Gabriel Penalba (unfit) all unavailable while Adama Toure is on international duty.
Kevin Monnet-Paquet is expected to have recovered from a thigh injury and Alaixys Romao is also making progress following a blow to his ankle.