The Argentine was missing from the touchline on Saturday due to coronavirus but is already making an impact in Paris
Keylor Navas says Paris Saint-Germain are “motivated” by the challenge of applying Mauricio Pochettino’s new ideas at the club.
PSG went top of Ligue 1 on Saturday with a narrow win at Angers, with Layvin Kurzawa’s precise volley the only goal of the game.
Previous leaders Lyon could return to the summit when they play Metz on Sunday, but Navas was pleased to get another three points in the bag.
“Winning is the most important thing tonight, because we knew how to suffer when it was necessary to do so,” Navas told Canal+. “The team had the patience to gain the three points and this part of our game makes us stronger. They had good counter-attacks, and my team-mates made an effort to be solid defensively.”
Navas wasn’t tested often throughout the game but he did make one key save from forward Lois Diony, who looked certain to score with a diving header from close range.
“I was well positioned, I wanted to help the team and I managed to do it,” he said, before adding on Pochettino: “We are trying to adapt to the ideas of the coach. We are very motivated. We try to have a good block and be good in transitions. We are managing to apply his ideas. Everything is fine and we have to keep working.”
PSG were far from their fluent best during the game, with Kylian Mbappe in particular missing chances to extend the scoreline.
Nevertheless, midfielder Leandro Paredes agreed with Navas that the result was the most important thing.
“The important thing was to win,” he told Telefoot. “We played well at a difficult ground and against a tenacious opponent. They are a well-organised team; they leave very little space and try to counter well. The main thing was to win. If you can play well, it’s better, but in this case we just had to win.”
PSG could be back down to second place by the time they next take to the field, with a home fixture on Friday against Montpellier, the team below Angers in the table. The champions then finish January with a trip to Lorient.