Ligue 1 news

Lyon boss Claude Puel: I'd settle for second place

December 27, 2009

Lyon coach Claude Puel has all but admitted defeat in the Ligue 1 title race.

Claude Puel (L) Jean Michel-Aulas (R)
GettyImagesChairman Jean-Michel Aulas (R) has kept faith in Claude Puel (L).

Puel, whose side lie sixth in the standings - 13 points behind leaders Bordeaux - over the winter break, claimed he would be content to finish second or third and secure a Champions League spot.

"If Lyon finished second or third, I'll take it,'' he said in Le Parisien.

Reflecting on where things have gone wrong this term, he said: "There were some very good things for two months. And then, poor management, particularly after the international break. We lost our game.

"Games like Sochaux (2-0 home defeat on October 17) and Grenoble (1-1 away draw on November 21) stick in my mind. We did not do the job in those games. We were complacent. This is not a trait of a team that wants to move to the top level.''

Puel wants Les Gones, champions every year from 2002 to 2008, to start afresh when their Ligue 1 campaign resumes at Nancy on January 16.

"The counters are reset,'' he said. "Not mathematically, unfortunately... but the goals are still there, provided they have learned the lessons of the first half of the season.

"This team must learn to fight, to write its own story, to be stronger and more consistent. And there is some way to go.''