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Lyon president calls for fans to back Puel

September 21, 2010

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas wants the club's fans to rally behind the team after claiming now is not the time to sack under-fire coach Claude Puel.

Claude Puel is facing a fans' revolt
GettyImages / PhilippeDesmazesClaude Puel: Took up the reins at Lyon in 2008

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Lyon, expected to be one of the Ligue 1 title contenders, currently lie just above the relegation zone after winning only one of their opening six games. Sunday's 2-0 defeat at Bordeaux was the final straw for some supporters but Aulas is confident Puel can turn it around.

He told OLTV: "Changing the coach is a plan which does not hold water. Not one club has ever changed its coach this early in the season and achieved its goals. He is extremely competent. Sacking him today would be a mistake.

"The situation would become more traumatic by the scars it created. We need a better solution.''

Next up for Lyon is a local derby with leaders St Etienne at the weekend and Aulas is hoping the players and fans can pull in the same direction.

"We need everybody behind the team,'' he added. "We are shooting ourselves in the foot. The derby is huge, a matter of pride and momentum. Any action that would change this dynamic should not be considered for a second.''