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Kalou: BATE clash kickstarts season

Lille winger Salomon Kalou is hoping a good result against BATE Borisov in the Champions League can help kickstart his team’s season.

With just one win from their first five Ligue 1 matches, Lille coach Rudi Garcia and his players are already under pressure.

Kalou believes they can turn things around though, starting in front of their home fans against BATE on Wednesday.

“We will do our best to get the three points tomorrow,” Kalou said.

“It is important to start well in the competition.

“We know that we are favourites but it means nothing; it is only on the pitch that things happen but I have confidence.

“I know we have prepared ourselves well during the week for this game.”

Lille needed extra time against Copenhagen to earn a spot in the group stage of the Champions League and have been drawn with Bayern Munich and Valencia as well as BATE.

But while Lille’s next two games against Bayern and Valencia loom as crucial fixture’s if the French club are to advance to the Round of 16, Kalou maintains they cannot take the Belarusian champions lightly.

“We have to take this game seriously,” Kalou said.

“We have to use all our abilities, we have a lot and the only way for us to be in danger is if we do not take them (BATE) seriously.”

Meanwhile, BATE head coach Viktor Goncharenko has argued he is not taking too much notice of Lille’s form in Ligue 1.

The 35-year-old is fully aware of Lille’s quality.

“Lille is a strong team,” Goncharenko said.

“We do know it.

“We cannot forget that Lille started well in UEFA, even if they have not started well in the league this season.”

Wed 19 September, 2012
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