Pascal Dupraz says he received a death threat during his stay in Saint-Etienne

Replaced by Laurent Batlles after the relegation of Saint-Etienne in Ligue 2, Pascal Dupraz spoke this Tuesday, in the columns of Parisian, the reasons for the descent of the Greens and those which would have pushed him to leave the club whatever the situation. issue. “I had decided to leave after our defeat in Lorient (2-6) April 8says the now ex-coach of ASSE. After the match, supporters followed us. And one of their vehicles even hit our bus on the way to the airport. On the tarmac, I was asked to go talk to the thirty or so guys present. One of them yelled at me ten centimeters from my face: ”You jester! You better keep the club, otherwise we’ll smoke you. This death threat was the trigger to leave the club. »

Appointed coach of Saint-Etienne last December, Dupraz ensures that “Even if the Greens had stayed in L1, the rest could only have been worse for me. What happened after the game against Auxerre (the serious incidents that followed the match on May 29) confirmed to me this climate of terror of a very small minority. In the stands, I saw kids of six or seven years old, invited by the club, screaming in fear in front of the smoke bombs that they caught in the face. What is the next step ? A death on the pretext that the team does not earn enough? This is unacceptable. »

“The squad was not big enough to play anything other than maintenance”

The former coach of Evian-Thonon-Gaillard and Toulouse, however, believes that this climate is not the cause of the club’s descent. “Failure is ours, that of the players, and mine for the 20 league games and two play-offs I have ledhe explains. I assume my share of responsibility for this failure. If I hadn’t made any mistakes, ASSE would be in Ligue 1.”

Pascal Dupraz in the middle of his players, during the return barrage against Auxerre (1-1, 5-4 on pens). (A. Réau/The Team)

“The squad was not big enough to play anything other than maintaininghowever, believes the Haut-Savoyard (59 years old). Too many young players, too many small engines forcing us to lighten training sessions, too many players to spare because of their history of injuries. And above all, the lack of complementarity […] Some young people may not yet have the codes of our profession and their behavior may have sometimes irritated certain locker room executives… But they all wanted to save ASSE, I have no doubt. They all gave the best with their limits. »


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