Marseille news

Don't blow UCL chance, Cheyrou tells OM

March 18, 2013
By Ian Holyman, France Correspondent

Benoit Cheyrou has urged his Marseille team-mates not to "spoil everything" by dropping out of the qualifying places for next season's Champions League.

Benoit Cheyrou MArseille
PA PhotosBenoit Cheyrou and his team-mates remain in third place

Marseille were held to a goalless draw at home to Ajaccio on Friday, but stayed in third - the final Champions League spot - as their rivals failed to take advantage.

Elie Baup's side have won only three league matches since the turn of the year, leaving them looking nervously over their shoulders, but Cheyrou is determined to ensure that they make it.

"We're hanging on to third place, and even second is possible," he told Canal+. "Teams like Saint-Etienne, Nice and Lille are coming back at us quickly.

"We're enjoying the benefits of our start to the season when no-one expected us to do well, and we took advantage of the element of surprise.

"We got more respect after that, but we're now in the final straight and we don't want to spoil everything.

"We all want to get back into the Champions League. We're trying to make up for last season [when they missed out], and we're going to do all we can to end the campaign well using our qualities and our courage."

Marseille were indebted to arch-rivals Paris Saint-Germain as Carlo Ancelotti's side drew with Saint-Etienne, who are two points adrift of third.

Few had expected OM to figure so strongly this season after a quiet summer in the transfer market, but Cheyrou said that sparkling start had increased expectations and pressure.

"When you look at what was said about us at the start of the season with the bringing in of players or non-bringing in of players, there's now greater expectation after our good start to the season," he added.

"It's partly our fault, too. We got ahead of ourselves, and the difficulties that we're having now prove that."