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Baup wary of cup minnow threat

Marseille head coach Elie Baup said he is not getting ahead of himself, despite a potential Coupe de France last-16 clash with PSG.

Baup’s men will take on French third-tier club Rouen at Stade Robert Diochon, and although his side – third in Ligue 1 – are expected to handle the challenge of the 13th-placed Championnat National club, the Marseille tactician was wary of already looking towards the Parisians in the next round.

Marseille’s clash with Rouen was postponed last Tuesday due to a gas leak at a nearby chemical factory, which is why the winner of Wednesday’s clash is already aware they are up against the Ligue 1 leaders next.

But Baup looked to England, where there have been several upsets in cup competitions of late, as a good example for his side to be wary of.

“The Coupe de France is always a tough challenge for the professional teams playing in first division,” he said.

“We can see the same in England; this is what gives interest to the cup and makes it hard to win. We know that we have to be ready because it is never easy to win these kinds of games.”

Baup has stood by Steve Mandanda after the French international goalkeeper’s blunder gifted Rennes a 2-2 league draw on Saturday.

“It is always the same regarding the goalkeepers. One time is enough. I’ve seen strikers miss some penalties or unable to complete some chances. And we do not talk a lot about it,” he said.

“But in this position on the pitch, there is a lot of exposure with the media and the goalkeepers have to be strong. Steve is a very strong guy. I think it is a little hard to talk about him this way and not only him but goalkeepers in general.

“There are great goalkeepers in French football. In my point of view Mandanda is the best goalkeeper of the Ligue 1. Himself and (Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo) Lloris are the best French goalkeepers at the moment.”

Following their cup trip to Rouen, Marseille are next in action at home to Nancy on Sunday.

Tue 29 Jan, 2013
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