Luis Enrique is confident he can get the best out of his big guns.
Luis Enrique has vowed to get the best out of superstar Kylian Mbappe as he tries to address Paris St Germain’s stuttering form.
The Ligue 1 champions return to action at home to Rennes on Sunday, still hot on the heels of Wednesday’s 4-1 Champions League defeat at Newcastle, during which Mbappe cut a frustrated figure.
However, PSG boss Enrique dismissed concerns about the striker’s fitness in his pre-match press conference – he limped off the 4-0 win over Marseille a fortnight ago with an ankle injury but has since started two games – and backed him. to get back to his best form.
He said: “Kylian is 100 per cent. As with all players, his fitness varies throughout the season. Everything can’t be black and white.
“He is a decisive player for us and my goal as a coach is to make the most of his qualities.”
Like Mbappe, summer signing Ousmane Dembele has had little impact at St James’ Park, but Enrique has urged patience with the former Barcelona star as he adapts to his new surroundings.
He said: “I am very happy with Ousmane’s work so far. I don’t think we should put any particular pressure on him.
“The first person to blame when things don’t go well is the coach. My real aim is to attack with 11 forwards and defend with 11 defenders.
“Ousmane Dembele plays on the flanks, but he can also come into the middle and provide support. He is the ideal player for my playing philosophy with the ability to throw opponents off balance. I’m happy with his approach and his performances.”
PSG headed into the weekend fifth in the table, two points behind earlier leaders Monaco, but have won just four of their nine games in all competitions so far, leaving Enrique alone in the firing line.
However, the Spaniard remained defiant in the wake of intense criticism of his side’s performance in Newcastle.
He said: “My job is to find the best way to achieve the best possible results. In any case, I have full confidence in my players and my staff going forward.”
Rennes, who lost for the first time this season when they lost 1-0 at Villarreal in the Europa League on Thursday night, have frustrated PSG in recent seasons and won the league double over them last season.
The Parisians have not returned from Rennes with all three points since September 2018 and have managed just one draw in their last four visits.
Enrique said: “Rennes is undoubtedly one of the best teams in the league. Historically, they’re the club we’ve had to face, especially when we play them away.
“They have very interesting attacking systems with some very strong individual attacking players.