Thierry Henry hopes Monaco can find some peace after finally securing a first win under his guidance by battling to a 1-0 victory at fellow Ligue 1 strugglers Caen.
Henry took over the Principality club in mid-October, but had failed to find a winning formula from his first six matches in charge.
Monaco regrouped following the 4-0 thrashing by leaders Paris Saint-Germain before the international break.
Henry’s side got themselves in front at Stade Michel d’Ornano through a well-executed free-kick from captain Radamel Falcao early in the second half.
Youri Tielemans later saw his free-kick smashed against the crossbar, but Monaco’s luck was in when Caen winger Malik Tchokounte had a stoppage-time goal chalked off by the Video Assistant Referee.
Monaco remain second bottom in the table, but are now just two points adrift of Normandy club Caen, who currently occupy the final position of safety.
“I’m happy for the team, all the fans, we needed that, even if it was not a great match,” Henry said at the post-match press conference.
“We could have taken shelter and in football, we do not know what can happen. We waited and it turned in our favour.”
Henry continued: “The team went out to get this victory, perhaps it can bring us a little peace.
“We’ll see more later, it’s better when we win, but this is only the beginning, there are still many matches and other battles to come.
“I’m especially happy for the group, for all the work they’ve done for a while that was not rewarded.”
Caen coach Fabien Mercadal was left fuming at the outcome, which could have been different but for the late intervention of VAR.
“We are disappointed, frustrated, it’s a bit confusing in our minds,” he said afterwards.
Thierry Henry’s miserable start to management shows no sign of abating, but he is urging his injury-hit Monaco side to remain positive despite being thrashed by Paris Saint-Germain.
Monaco succumbed to their second 4-0 defeat at the Stade Louis II in six days – following on from their Champions League humbling by Club Brugge on Tuesday.
Edinson Cavani scored a poacher’s hat-trick while Neymar’s penalty completed the rout to put PSG 13 points clear at the top of Ligue 1, with Monaco being kept off the foot of the standings on goal difference alone.
Henry, who has lost four and drawn two of his first six matches in charge of Monaco, said in quotes on the club website: “There was a difference in quality.
“At the beginning of the match they were not serene but in the end it’s a pretty easy win for PSG.
“There was a reaction, no player lost focus. Even with all our injuries, we have created opportunities against PSG. We must stay positive.”
Monaco’s night was compounded by injuries to Nacer Chadli midway through the first half and the Belgian’s replacement Jordi Mboula shortly after the interval.
They look set to join Monaco’s lengthy injury list and former France and Arsenal striker Henry admitted his frustration at the mounting casualties.
“We’re losing two more players,” Henry said. “It’s starting to do a lot. Always the same scenario in our matches. We are losing our games and our players.”
While Monaco can only look on with envious eyes, PSG recorded their 13th win from 13 in the French top-flight.
On a night when the linesmen came under scrutiny, Cavani scored twice inside 12 minutes – with both goals overturned on the video assistant referee system having been initially flagged for offside.
Cavani used his predatory instinct to complete his treble in the 53rd minute while Neymar scored from the spot just after the hour, following Djibril Sidibe’s careless foul on former Monaco star Kylian Mbappe.
PSG coach Thomas Tuchel said in quotes on his side’s website: “It’s great to have a 13th win in 13 games. It was a great performance.
“We know that Monaco is in a complicated situation, with several players injured.
“We scored two goals quickly, but the first period was more balanced.
“We conceded several opportunities to the opponent. We were more serious in the second half, more structured, and we deserve this victory.”
Thierry Henry wants to go back to basics as he looks to Sunday’s clash with Paris Saint-Germain to kick-start the turnaround of Monaco’s season.
Henry is yet to enjoy victory a month into his Monaco tenure with two draws and three defeats since he took over from Leonardo Jardim, the latest setback being a 4-0 home loss to Club Brugge in the Europa League on Thursday.
Ligue 1 leaders PSG, yet to drop a single point 12 games into the season, will hardly be welcome visitors under the circumstances, and Henry has told his players they must treat it as a cup match.
“The pleasure is still there but there is also great pressure at a difficult time,” Henry said.
“We know it will not be easy against Paris Saint-Germain. Although it seems complicated, we will try to unsettle them.
“We will try to go back to basics and pressure our opponents like we did in Brugge (a 1-1 draw in October).
“We must be stronger and get back to winning the individual duels. We must look at this match against Paris St Germain as a cup match.”
Monaco have been PSG’s closest rivals in recent years, winning the title in 2016-17 and finishing as runners-up last season.
But they have struggled to hold on to their top talent, and the biggest reminder of that will come on Sunday when Kylian Mbappe returns to Stade Louis II in Paris colours.
“He is a star,” Henry said of the World Cup winner. “He is an outstanding player and let’s be happy that he is in France. I would have liked him to still be here at Monaco, the match would have been easier for us.
“What can you say about Kylian Mbappe? Everyone talks about his dribbling, but I have always talked about his game intelligence at his age. I have rarely seen that.”
While second-bottom Monaco can only look on with envious eyes, PSG continue to sweep all before them, winning 12 out of 12 in the league and scoring 41 goals in the process.
“People are waiting for PSG to win every one of our games,” said defender Thilo Kehrer. “We just try to do our best on the field.”
Kehrer insisted PSG would not read anything into Monaco’s league position ahead of the match.
“They have a young team with a lot of potential,” he said. “Anything can happen in a match. We must be ready for this clash, show our qualities and our mentality. If we do that and we play at our level, we can win this game.”