Ligue 1 news

Lille coach Garcia hits back at critics

April 20, 2011

Lille coach Rudi Garcia believes his side have silenced their doubters after they kept their bid for a domestic double alive with a 2-0 Coupe de France semi-final win at Nice on Tuesday night.

LOSC went into the game with their league campaign showing signs of faltering after they followed defeat at Monaco with a home draw against Bordeaux at the weekend.

But, with the critics starting to circle they responded in fine style as goals from Eden Hazard and Gervinho booked their place in the Stade de France decider on May 14.

"We read or hear the LOSC could lose everything this week, following our poor result against Bordeaux,'' Garcia told the club's website. "We gave the best answer to those claims on the pitch. It has silenced the debate. It is also the best preparation for the league trip to Lorient on Sunday.''

Garcia revealed his side had been inspired to reach the final and give their fans a day out at the national stadium, where they will meet either Paris St Germain or Ligue 2 Angers.

"We wanted to bring all the people from Lille to the Stade de France, it's done,'' he added. "We really wanted to be there and we're there. We want to show the scale of the event and we will give everything to win this trophy. I feel great joy because I want to live this with my squad.''

Lille's success was only soured by an injury to Florent Balmont who was replaced by goalscorer Hazard after 36 minutes.

"We hope it is not too serious for him and that he can return soon,'' Garcia said. "But we were boosted by the fact that Tulio (De Melo) and Ludo (Obraniak) started. We will need everyone we can until the end of the season.''