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'It's not Henry v Vieira' - Monaco boss says Nice clash won't be overshadowed by their reunion

18:58 GMT+3 05/12/2018
HenryVieira - cropped
The two former teammates will prepare their teams to meet on Friday in Ligue 1 and the Les Monegasques manager won't be distracted by nostalgia

Thierry Henry will go up against ex-colleague Patrick Vieira on Friday when Monaco host Nice but he wants their head to head to remain of secondary importance.

Henry and Vieira were key players in France's triumphant 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 campaigns before claiming two Premier League titles together at Arsenal, the second as crucial members of the Gunners' undefeated 'Invincibles'.

Monaco moved out of Ligue 1's relegation zone with a 2-0 win at Amiens on Tuesday and face Cote d'Azur rivals Nice, who are four points adrift of the top three in seventh, at Stade Louis II next.

Henry is aware of the importance of the match and will not allow his battle with Vieira to supersede the action on the pitch.

"I was not born here but I was trained here and I know what this derby represents," said the 41-year-old.

"Beyond that, Nice is a team that don't concede many goals, that plays and fights until the end like their coach Patrick Vieira.

"There is a friendship between Pat and I. Pat is a reference not only for me but for everyone. He's always been a prodigy, the first in the class, someone who always keeps going. He's a great guy.

"But Friday remains about Monaco v Nice, not Henry v Vieira."

Henry took charge at Monaco earlier in the season after spending the summer as part of Belgium's set-up at the 2018 World Cup.

The Frenchman served as Roberto Martinez' assistant during the team's run to the semi-finals, which whetted his appetite for a senior management role at club level.

After their latest eague fixture, Les Monegasques will turn their attention back to the Champions League and their final Group A fixture against Borussia Dortmund at home next week.