Saturday, March 25, 2017

Paris Saint-Germain v Lille: Beware the wounded animal, warns Girard

SoccerNews in Ligue 1 23 Apr 2015

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Lille coach Rene Girard has warned his players to beware of the “wounded animal” when they take on Paris Saint-Germain in Ligue 1 on Saturday.

PSG saw their UEFA Champions League campaign brought to an end on Tuesday – beaten 2-0 in Barcelona to leave them 5-1 down over the two legs of the quarter-final.

However, Girard does not believe there will be any benefit to facing the defending French champions fresh from their European disappointment.

“We play football to play matches like this,” he said. “Going to the Parc des Princes is always important. PSG are a great team.

“But we will not play with an innocent enthusiasm.

“They got eliminated [from the Champions League], but few teams beat Barca. They lost against a great squad.

“Paris remains a formidable team and the quality of the players is there.

“We cannot expect any let-up from a team with such force.

“We have to be careful because a wounded animal is always dangerous.”

PSG coach Laurent Blanc has set his sights on securing a domestic treble, with the men from the capital behind leaders Lyon on goal difference alone with a game in hand, while Girard has not given up hope of qualifying for the UEFA Europa League.

If PSG beat second-tier Auxerre in the Coupe de France final, sixth place would be enough to see Lille into Europe – a position from which they sit four points adrift at present.

“We will try not to lose and if we can win, we will,” added Girard. “We have no unnecessary pressure to deal with, we’re just trying to play a good match.

“If we do what it takes, we can win. If we want to hope for something late in the season, we know what we have to do.

“This is an interesting end to the season, while many thought we might fade.”

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