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Thursday, September 20, 2012
Lyon motivated by Europa League

Fabien Perrin, France correspondent

Manager Remi Garde is confident Lyon will approach their Europa League game against Sparta Prague on Thursday in the same way they have done in the Champions League.

Lyon have enjoyed a successful era playing alongside Europe's elite for 12 seasons in a row, while also picking up seven Ligue 1 titles on the bounce during that time.

However, their golden era appeared to come to an end last season as they finished fourth in the league, meaning they would enter the Europa League.

Yet Garde is sure that his players will still find the same motivation playing in the continent's less prestigious competition.

"Even if it won't be the same perfume than last year's, it will be good," he said. ''If we're here, it's our fault. We're responsible for what we are going to do in this competition."

Lyon became a real threat during their time in the Champions League, reaching the semi-finals in 2010, and Garde hopes the Europa League will bring similar success.

"My words are anecdotal, they are motivated enough," he said. "The Champions League brought good feelings to us, I hope the Europa League will bring us the same."

Garde's opinion is one shared by his playing staff, with Anthony Reveillere saying: ''Stop dreaming. We won't denigrate the Europa League, it's still a European cup."

Maxime Gonalons added: ''The French League stays the priority, but we are going to be on top in this competition and try to go as far as possible."

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