Monday, January 23, 2017

Valbuena wants decisive performance

SoccerNews in Ligue 1 3 May 2013

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Marseille midfielder Mathieu Valbuena has urged his team-mates to ‘go and get it’ with European qualification up for grabs on Saturday.

Valbuena has emphasised Marseille control their own destiny with four rounds to go in Ligue 1, as the club sit second on the standings, seven points clear of Lille in fifth position.

The top four clubs in France qualify for either the UEFA Champions League or the Europa League next season and if Marseille defeat Bastia this weekend, while Lille fail to win away to Toulouse, Valbuena’s side could finish no lower than fourth.

However, Valbuena has made it clear this weekend is just the first step and that Marseille’s main goal is to hold on to second spot and qualify for the Champions League.

“Nothing is being taken for granted, we will have to go and get it,” Valbuena said on Thursday.

“We have done well so far but there are still four games to play, four finals.

“We will have to prepare the game in the same way we did recently, with the same mindset but for sure, we will be disappointed if we don’t finish second in the league.”

While Valbuena emphasised Marseille’s job is not yet completed, the club are definitely in the box seat to qualify for next season’s Champions League, as they sit four points clear of third-placed Lyon.

Marseille also have three home games in the final four rounds of the season against teams in the bottom half of the table, but head coach Elie Baup denied suggestions 13th-placed Bastia will be an easy contest for his team.

“Bastia is a well-balanced team, they have experienced players who know the league perfectly like Mickael Landreau, Jacques Faty, Sylvain Marchal, Jerome Rothen, Anthony Modeste,” Baup said.

“Apart from that, they also have some talented players like Florian Thauvin.

“The majority of the players are experienced.

“They have creative players, they were on a good run, scoring four goals in their last few games.

“They defend well and they score a lot so it’s going to be a difficult game for us.”

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