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Fatigue taking its toll – Blanc

Juggling the demands of a domestic title bid and the UEFA Champions League are starting to take a toll on Paris Saint-Germain, according to coach Laurent Blanc.

A brace from Javier Pastore either side of half-time and one from Edinson Cavani inspired PSG to a 3-1 Ligue 1 win at Nice on Saturday, with Mathieu Bodmer netting for the hosts.

But a sluggish start from the defending champions did not go unnoticed by Blanc, who conceded his side are finding it hard to cope with such packed fixture list – having had minimal recovery time from their 3-1 Champions League quarter-final first-leg defeat to Barcelona in midweek.

He told 20 Minutes after the game: “We have to face facts: we had just two days after we played a match against Barcelona. 

“We are tired, I cannot complain, it’s like that, but Nice for a week, they rest. 

“We knew we had a busy schedule, we wanted to play and progress in all competitions, we could have done differently but I think we’ve done well.”

And Blanc insists he will not let a crowded fixture list lower expectations at the club, stating the players share his ambitions to fire on all fronts.

He added: “At half-time I told the players that [they] could not be satisfied, we came to Nice to take three points, and everyone agreed. The second half was much better.

“It was important not to lose twice and to get back into championship mode.”

One major positive for PSG ahead of the second-leg trip to Barcelona  on Tuesday is the return of Lucas Moura, who played 73 minutes of Saturday’s win after coming back from injury.

Blanc is understandably delighted to have the Brazilian back, but knows injuries and suspensions are still a problem for his team.

“I would like all the players available,” he added. “He [Lucas Moura] returned from injury and needs to regain his speed and quality of support on which his game is built.”

Sat 18 Apr, 2015
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