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Thursday, September 20, 2012
Garcia rues 'nightmare' game for Lille

Fabien Perrin, France Correspondent

Lille boss Ruid Garcia bemoaned his side for "handicapping" themselves after watching the ignominy of a Champions League defeat at home to BATE Borisov.

• Lille 1-3 BATE Barisov

BATE shot into a 3-0 lead at half-time to leave their French hosts stunned at the Stade Grand Metropole and although Aurelien Chedjou reduced the deficit in the second half, Lille were condemned to an embarrassing reverse.

With BATE supposed to be the weakest team in Group F, it leaves Lille with a mountain to climb if they are to qualify for the knockout stages for only the second time in their history.

"We could have done much better in the first half. BATE were very efficient in the opening period with three goals from three or four attempts," Garcia said.

"We failed in terms of positioning, we have to stop handicapping ourselves. At this level, there is no mercy. We just had a nightmare. It's the worst start we could have had."

Garcia needs to oversee a major improvement if Lille are to find a way past Group F heavyweights Bayern Munich and Valencia, but the French coach believes his side's second-half performance on Tuesday gave reason to be optimistic.

"Fortunately we showed our pride in the second half, that is important for the future," he said. "Let's hope it was an accident, we need to make the predictions [that Bayern and Valencia are most likely to progress] wrong.

"We need points if we want to stay alive in this tournament. We'll have to be focused on finding solutions."

Lille captain Rio Mavuba echoed the thoughts of his coach and criticised his team-mates for failing to be motivated for the game.

"'We had a lack of desire and commitment," Mavuba said. "We are in the Champions League, we fought for it and we showed our bad side. At half-time, the coach asked for a reaction. There was one, but too timid for that level.

"This is the worst start. We will have to do something if we want to qualify. We have to react as a group. We're all in the same boat.

"We have a big game on Sunday against Lyon. We have to bounce back and try to beat Lyon, who are a tough opponent. We (the players) are all in the same boat, it's everyone's business.

"We have to respond collectively as it is in difficult times that you see how the squad behave.''

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