Available again after suspension, Morgan Amalfitano isn't lacking in motivation and wants to put everything he learned last season into practice this term...
In the starting line-up for the two-legged Europa League third preliminary round qualifiers against Eskisehirspor and author of two assists, Morgan Amalfitano returns to Ligue 1 action this Sunday against Sochaux after serving a one-match ban against Reims. "I made a good start in the Europa League and now I can't wait to get back into action at the Vélodrome with the fans - it's going to be great," he declared in Friday's press conference.
It marks the start of the former Lorient mans second season at OM after a first in which his performances were closely linked to those of the team. "I've always been a very consistent player, throughout my career, always improving each campaign, and last year the whole team fell in a hole, me with it," he explained. "I would have liked to be more consistent last term, but the whole team needs to play well to allow the individuals to shine."
Defensive midfield? He can play there
If he has to drop back to partner Cheyrou in defensive midfield should other players leave the club, Morgan Amalfitano won't be in uncharted waters: "I've already played there and I won't moan about it because the most important thing is the desire. That's where I started out. I don't work on that position every day at training, but I can adapt. I played in that position a lot at Sedan and I'm happy to fill the breach if someone leaves, not a problem."
Suspended more than once last season, and missing the opening game of the season because of a ban carried over from last May, Morgan says he learnt a lot last year. "When you play for Marseille and you go 12 matches without a win, that hurts. I almost certainly took things too much to heart, but that's just the kind of guy I am. Everything that happened last season will serve as a lesson for me and I'll be keeping all my energies for the pitch," he continued. "When you're not enjoying your football anymore, it means there's a problem within the squad. That was what I found most frustrating last season but I've got all that out my system and I'm a lot more focused now."
Calmer and very motivated, the OM midfielder is very ambitious for the coming campaign: "We're setting off from solid foundations of hard work and a good spirit. This team has quality and values and we have to continue like this. Maybe there's no Champions League this season, but we're capable of turning that around this term and qualifying for next year."
Morgan's season starts with Sunday's visit of Sochaux (17:00 CET) to the Vélodrome after a successful start last weekend. "We already have three points on the board, which is great, but now it's time to step it up another gear at home. We have to impose the law at our own home ground, be respected, even if it won't be easy against Sochaux."