Mauricio Pochettino is laying the groundwork to ensure there is no repeat of a disappointing 2020-21 season at Paris Saint-Germain.
Having been appointed in January, the former Southampton and Tottenham head coach oversaw a frustrating time in Paris as his team were eliminated at the Champions League semi-final stage by Manchester City and finished runners-up in Ligue 1 to Lille.
That second-place finish ended a run of three successive league titles for PSG and Pochettino is aware that corrections are needed if they are to go one better in the 2021-22 campaign.
A strong transfer window, however, has further boosted the French giants, as they have added Sergio Ramos and Achraf Hakimi to their ranks, alongside Euro 2020 shoot-out hero Gianluigi Donnarumma.
But Pochettino is insistent that the pre-season period is vital to PSG if they want to retake the Ligue 1 title and stake a claim in the Champions League.
“Other players will join us later, maybe they won’t feature in the first competitive matches of the season, so that they too can prepare in the best way possible”, Pochettino told the club’s media.
“It’s important so that, during the season, they feel fresh and strong and that what happened last season never happens again.”
Check out coach Pochettino’s preseason interview
“I think the most important thing is to establish the guidelines and lay the foundations for the future.” pic.twitter.com/uW1BpvYYu2
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) July 16, 2021
PSG’s Ligue 1 downfall was due to their woeful record against fellow top-four contenders Lille, Monaco and Lyon.
Pochettino’s men, previously coached by current Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel, collected just four points from six matches against their competitors and that proved the difference in the title race.
Aware of those failings, the Argentine coach is keen to involve the youngsters, who could provide fresh legs as PSG compete both domestically and in Europe.
“There are a lot of young players who will have the opportunity to show themselves in these first games and prove to us they can fight for a place in the team during the season,” Pochettino said.
“I think the most important thing is to establish the guidelines and lay the foundations for the future.
“I think that’s what we are doing at the beginning of the pre-season, and it will surely contribute to all those things that we need to do to prepare well and have the ingredients we need in the decisive moments.
“So that we can be much closer to achieving our goals and to winning the things we want to win.”