Lyon manager Laurent Blanc has urged the French press not to write sensational headlines ahead of their Coupe de France quarter-final clash with Grenoble on Tuesday. Speaking in a press conference, Blanc highlighted the team’s injury concerns, with several key players such as Lacazette, Aouar, Tolisso and Thiago Mendes ruled out of the match. The following was transcribed by L’Équipe.
Blanc acknowledged that the game is crucial for Lyon’s hopes of securing a spot in Europe next season, saying “it’s the shortest path to Europe, it’s true!”. However, he added that every team in the quarter-finals will be highly motivated to win the game.
When asked about Lyon’s style of play, Blanc, who described himself as a lover of the game, admitted that the team’s recent performances have not been good, but winning the game is the top priority. He said, “The most important thing is to win the match and qualify. Everyone wants to play well, me included, but we can’t be too picky.”
Finally, when asked about midfielder Mohamed El Arouch, who is expected to feature prominently in the absence of several key players, Blanc praised his technical ability, but acknowledged that the physical demands of Ligue 1 are very high. “He brings movement to the team, but it’s not enough. When we don’t have a choice, we make sure that young players can express themselves,” he said.
GFFN | George Boxall