Olympique de Marseille's France international midfielder Mathieu Valbuena admits it's not easy at the moment and that he can't wait for the end of the season... but before then, he's desperate to get back to winning ways this Friday, against Lorient...
How are you coping at the moment?
It's a very difficult thing to go through. We're going through a rough patch and it's been a very long time since OM ever experienced a run this long without a win. You can see it in the standings and we'd love to put a stop to it. Mentally, it's very hard to cope with. We thought the Coupe de la Ligue final win would be a real boost, fill us with renewed confidence... but it didn't.
What do you say to supporters you meet in the street?
There is one question they all ask: 'What's going on?' They love OM and are always behind the club despite this disappointment. They are asking themselves what's going on inside their club. We can't all become bad players overnight, but when they see the Ligue 1 table and the results, they wonder how we got here. The supporters are very disappointed... they're not angry anymore.
At OM, we have to be ambitious, in every competition. Despite the Coupe de la Ligue win, with all these defeats, we're ashamed of ourselves.
So what is happening?
After so many defeats, our heads drop. The solidarity and team spirit aren't as strong and when you lack something that important, you pay for it. At OM, if you're not as determined as your opponents you can't win. When we play away from home, it's always the match of the season for our opposition and then one week later they lose. Caen played brilliantly here against us and then copped four goals against Saint-Etienne. When you play for OM, it's not the same league as for everyone else. We were too inconsistent this season. We could blame that on the number of matches we had to play, on our Champions League run that left its mark, on the Cups... But at the end of the day, there are no excuses. At OM, we have to be ambitious, in every competition. Despite the Coupe de la Ligue win, with all these defeats, we're ashamed of ourselves.
Are you thinking about the possibility of relegation if this run continues?
Personally, I'm not thinking about it, but we must win one more match. Seeing how we're going, it won't be easy but we can't give up and throw in the towel. It's a question of pride, of honour. We have to look ourselves in the mirror and admit that our performances are unacceptable. Perhaps at the moment we aren't doing enough as individuals. Luck has also been against us, but you make your own luck. We still have matches remaining starting this Friday away to Lorient, where we need to rediscover our team spirit. We need to stop the bleeding! If not, it's just going to get tougher and tougher. We've forgotten how to win...
We can't wait for this season to be over. Mentally, this run of defeats is really hard to deal with.
You've been at OM for a long time. In your opinion, what needs to happen to rediscover that form of early 2012?
We've played a lot of football this season and we've been too inconsistent. At the Stade Velodrome, teams come and take points as though they were the home team. Before, earning a point in Marseille was like a victory, today, they're not scared. Often we're too nice at home and we get walked on away from home. We're also conceding too many goals early on in matches. Once you're behind on the scoreboard, it's not that easy!
We get the impression that the team doesn't enjoy playing together... Perhaps because there are no concrete goals to aim for now...
When I walk out onto the field, I always want to win. I don't look at the ladder and I always love playing. It's not as fun when you lose, but there are still challenges for us, like playing well and winning! We can't wait for this season to be over. Mentally, this run of defeats is really hard to deal with. We have matches coming up and we'll do everything we can to try and win them.
How do you plan to turn things around against Lorient?
We mustn't say that we can't do anything. We have to fight more as a team, show that we are one unit, that OM is still a force to be reckoned with. It's a question of pride. We are disappointing a lot of people at the moment so we have no choice but to turn things around!