Monaco’s Austrian coach Adi Hutter (CLEMENT MAHOUDEAU)
New Monaco coach Adi Hutter says he has lofty ambitions with the French club after a blistering start to their Ligue 1 campaign.
Monaco, the only team with three wins after four games, visit Lorient on Sunday to stay top of Ligue 1 ahead of Paris Saint-Germain and Marseille, who respectively host Nice and Toulouse.
Monaco have the best attack in Ligue 1 with 13 goals scored so far and sit two points ahead of champions PSG and Marseille, who have scored eight and seven goals each.
“The team are united with a lofty and complicated objective: the top three,” Hutter, who was appointed on a two-year contract in July, told AFP.
“The most important thing is to get back to Europe,” the Austrian added.
As for a first title since 2017, he said: “Yes, we can dream, of course! Sometimes dreams come true. But PSG are still very strong!”
At Monaco he replaced Belgian Philippe Clement who stayed a season and a half at the Principality outfit which failed to qualify for a European competition after finishing sixth.
And Hutter, 53, believes he has reached maturity as a coach after 15 years coaching in Austria, Switzerland and Germany.
“The road to get here has been long,” he said.
Hutter left Bundesliga side Borussia Moenchengladbach after just one season in 2021-22 when the team finished a modest tenth.
He began his career at home with RB Salzburg, followed by successful spells with Swiss side Young Boys of Bern and Germany’s Eintracht Frankfurt.
He achieved the Austrian Cup-Championship double in 2015 with Salzburg, and the Swiss league title in 2018 with Young Boys, and guided Frankfurt to the Europa League semi-final in 2019.
A former international midfielder, Hutter was capped 14 times for Austria.
“When I arrived in Bern (2015-2018), I found their football boring. We changed it,” he said.
“In Moenchengladbach, the problem was more complicated. We were unable to make the expected transfers to progress. The group wasn’t hungry enough anymore.”
In Monaco, he has the same vision as director of football Thiago Scuro and sporting director Paul Mitchell, who have both also come from the Red Bull football group.
“It’s much easier: we have the same vision, we talk the same football, without wasting energy convincing each other.
“This group satisfies me. The quality of the young players is much higher than that of Moenchengladbach.”
Hutter also praised the professional attitude of captain Wissam Ben Yedder who was charged with rape last month.
“I only talk about football with him, never about his personal problems,” he said.
“His performances are not affected and his attitude is professional. There is no doubt, I put the best on the field. Wissam is one of the best.”
Monaco’s forwards will be put to the test in Lorient. Despite a 3-0 defeat to Le Havre, the Brittany side’s goalkeeper Yvon Mvogo has had the greatest number of saves so far with 20 in four matches.
Behind Monaco, PSG have two wins and two draws, including a 4-1 success over Lyon before the international break.
After finishing third last season, Lyon have started the new campaign with three defeats and a draw, leaving them propping up the table.
Coach Laurent Blanc was axed before their trip to Le Havre on Sunday, with his replacement yet to be appointed.
Fixtures (all times GMT)
Paris Saint-Germain v Nice (1900)
Rennes v Lille (1500), Lens v Metz (1900)
Lorient v Monaco (1100), Strasbourg v Montpellier (1300), Reims v Brest (1300), Clermont v Nantes (1300), Marseille v Toulouse (1505), Lyon v Le Havre (1845)