Lyon to bounce back after successive defeats?

January 21, 2008

PARIS, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Ligue 1 leaders Olympique Lyon have promised to bounce back against Lorient on Wednesday after suffering two defeats in less than a week.

Lyon, chasing a seventh successive title, were dumped out of the French League Cup after a 1-0 quarter-final loss at Le Mans last Wednesday and then slumped to a 3-0 league defeat at strugglers Racing Lens on Sunday.

'We must keep cool heads and try to analyse precisely what went wrong' said Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas, whose team are three points clear at the top.

'Making all this more dramatic than it is would not help,' Aulas told reporters. 'I expect a reaction against Lorient.'

Lyon are now clearly under threat from second-placed Girondins Bordeaux, who host St Etienne on Thursday.

'What we have to do is bounce back straight away,' said Lyon goalkeeper Gregory Coupet, who had a tough night in Lens, where Lyon suffered their heaviest league defeat since they lost 3-0 at Monaco in 2004.

Lyon were too passive against Lens and must recapture their fighting spirit, said coach Alain Perrin.

'We were not strong enough mentally,' said Perrin. 'We must be more combative, show more determination.'

Lyon have a long injury list with defenders Cris, Cleber Anderson and Patrick Mueller all sidelined with knee problems.

The champions also missed Brazil midfielder Juninho in Lens because of a sore toe but hope he will be back to face Lorient.