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Garcia urges Lille to forget the past

Lille’s Rudi Garcia has dismissed his team’s last game against Valencia as insignificant in the lead-up to their UEFA Champions League clash.

Valencia will host Lille on Tuesday with the French club’s last trip to the eastern Spanish city in 2009 having ended in a 3-1 defeat to Garcia’s team.

But the 48-year-old French head coach has rejected the claim Lille might be affected by that result because the two teams will be significantly different this time around.

“The context is completely different,” Garcia said.

“We’re talking about a game played three years ago.

“Obviously, Valencia’s team and our team were different.

“If I recall, (full-back) Mathieu (Debuchy) was on the bench, (former Lille forward) Gervinho too.”

Garcia has labelled the Champions League fixture as a must-win game for Lille after the French team were defeated 3-1 at home by BATE Borisov on matchday one.

Lille are bottom of Group F with zero points, only behind Valencia on goal difference, who lost 2-1 away to Bayern Munich in their opening match of the 2012/13 Champions League.

“We need to get points because we lost at home against BATE Borisov,” Garcia said.

“And just like in Ligue 1, when you lose points at home, you have to get them back away.

“The difference is that this Champions League (tournament) is really short, there are only 6 games so it’s even more urgent.”

Garcia has urged his team to remain positive away from home.

“It’s our task to increase our level on defence and to annihilate their strengths and also to not come here as victims,” Garcia said.

“We need to do everything possible to score.

“If we want to get a result, we’ll need to be solid but we’ll also need to attack if we want to get a very good result here.”

Tue 2 October, 2012
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