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Garcia optimistic for Lille grand finale

Lille coach Rudi Garcia is eager to see his side finish their poor Champions League campaign on a high against Valencia on Wednesday.

The French side are certain to finish bottom of Group F after winning just one of their first five games.

But despite having nothing but pride to play for, Garcia said he wanted Lille to finish their European adventure successfully.

“We will try everything to end on a good note in this season’s Champions League. There is no mathematical issue with regards to us and qualification,” Garcia said.

“But we are at home and we have to give everything to end with a good result, at least for our fans.

“It also allows us to face one of the best teams in Europe – Valencia FC. So that’s our goal for tomorrow – try to play a good match, to deliver a good performance and also to try to enjoy the occasion.”

Lille have also been disappointing in Ligue 1, sitting 10th and 10 points behind leaders Lyon.

Garcia suggested he may rest players as he looks ahead to Saturday’s league clash against Sochaux, but also spoke about the importance of the Valencia fixture.

“I’m not going to be in good spirits but tomorrow’s match is the most important because it’s the Champions League and we want to show a good performance from our team,” he said.

“We lost so many points. That’s why we have to do everything to win.

“I think about that – to build a team able to win this match, but I have to deal with the tiredness of some players and with what happened during the last few matches.”

Meanwhile, Valencia defender Adil Rami says heading back to Lille will be an emotional experience after spending five years at the club before moving to Spain in 2011.

“I’m sad for Lille because it’s a team that deserved to go through the first round – even if I should not say that because if they qualified, maybe we would not have qualified,” he said.

“I don’t know why they are struggling, some people are saying it’s because Eden Hazard left the club.

“I think that might be part of it but Lille remains a big team in the French league. I think they have to adapt to life without him.”

Wed 5 Dec, 2012
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