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Umtiti ready for Rhone derby

Lyon left-back Samuel Umtiti has claimed his team are in ‘a totally different frame of mind’ ahead of their derby with Saint-Etienne.

Having won the Coupe de la Ligue last week, Saint-Etienne have turned their attention to overhauling arch-rivals Lyon on the Ligue 1 table.

Saint-Etienne have not lost in 14 league matches and a victory on Sunday would take them above Lyon into third position.

But Umtiti has argued Lyon’s confidence has improved after two wins in a row, following a disastrous run of three defeats.

“After our two wins we can say we have shown a totally different frame of mind,” Umtiti said.

“We have found that our confidence is back, that is what we were looking for.

“Defensively we are stronger now and maybe we can take more risks but those victories have allowed us to move on.”

Lyon defeated Montpellier 2-1 last week, while Saint-Etienne have played two games since then, winning the Coupe de la Ligue with a 1-0 triumph over Rennes, before knocking off Ajaccio 4-2 on Wednesday.

While Umtiti accepts Lyon may be fresher, he does not believe that puts more pressure on his team compared to Saint-Etienne, who are keen to qualify for next season’s UEFA Champions League.

“First of all, I don’t want to think about losing this game,” Umtiti said.

“I just want to think about winning the derby.

“Obviously Saint-Etienne have just won a cup and they have played tonight (Wednesday) as well against Ajaccio.

“So maybe we are going to be fresher but there is pressure is on them as well.

“We know they are happy with their cup but we know they want more.”

Thu 25 April, 2013
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