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Garde preparing for tough title race

Lyon coach Remi Garde expects his team to lift another notch in 2013 after entering the Ligue 1 winter break level at the top of the table.

Lyon defeated Nice 3-0 on Saturday to go level with leaders Paris Saint-Germain on 38 points.

Garde declared he was pleased with his side’s efforts in the first half of the season but he admitted they would need to redouble their efforts after the break if they were to defeat PSG in the title race.

“PSG are PSG and we are just trying to move towards our own goals, to be the best in both the league and in Europe,” Garde said.

“Not a long time ago we were leaders by five points. It was apparently a good advantage, but 15 days later everything was different. So nothing is sure.

“Until everything is decided we have to be vigilant. Now we are very happy with what we achieved in this first half of the season. It is up to us now to do the same in the second half. Everything will start again after the break,” he said.

PSG guaranteed they will go into the winter break as Ligue 1 leaders by beating 10-man Brest on Friday, the capital city club’s fourth successive win.

However, Carlo Ancelotti’s side will not be getting carried away by their high-flying status – 12 months ago they also led the way at Christmas only to see Montpellier take the title in May.

“We showed last week that we were not far from them [PSG] but it depends more on them than us to know what will be the gap at the end of the season,” Garde said.

“We showed in the Stade de Gerland that we were a complicated team. We lost only one game and drew a few. It is very interesting because it gives us a two-point average. If we can keep that up, it will allow us to reach our goals.”

Sun 23 December, 2012
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