Marseille coach Elie Baup held clear-the-air talks with his players yesterday in an attempt to address his team's latest shock defeat.
After starting the season with an undefeated run of 11 matches in all competitions that included eight wins, Marseille have since gone off the rails, losing nine of their last 16 games.
Just 11 days after suffering a 4-1 loss to Ligue 1 leaders Lyon at the Stade Velodrome, Baup's side were humiliated 3-0 at home to Lorient on Sunday.
That prompted pre-training talks between Baup and the players that lasted more than an hour yesterday, with the club's title hopes suffering in the wake of the heavy back-to-back home defeats.
Baup said: ``You shouldn't be afraid to say things in front of one another.
``It allows everyone to escape, to be free, because there's nothing worse than talking behind the back of a neighbour. I prefer it is out in the open, that we talk face to face to leave united.''
Baup's words were echoed by defender Nicolas N'koulou ahead of tomorrow's trip to face Bastia, who have failed to score in their last three matches.
N'koulou said: ``We tried to regroup and find courage.
``We thought about all the good times we had known at the beginning of the season. We must try to find them again. We are men, and sometimes these discussions sting a little, but it was needed.''
N'koulou, however, was unable to offer any explanation as to the team's poor run of form, or as to the team's particular habit of slipping up when within sight of taking over at the top of the table.
``Unfortunately, there are situations where you do not necessarily have an explanation,'' added N'koulou.
``We are going through a very delicate period and now we just have to bounce back as soon as possible. We are aware this is not one of the best times we have known at this moment, so we must quickly rectify the situation.''
Baup is without defenders Souleymane Diawara and Rod Fanni - through injury and suspension respectively - for a game that will take place behind closed doors at the Stade Armand Cesari.
That is as a result of a decision taken by the league's disciplinary committee last week following incidents that took place during the game with Ajaccio on October 21.
Bastia go into the game without the suspended midfielder Florian Thauvin, whilst defender Sylvain Marchal (thigh), midfielder Yannick Cahuzac (thigh), defender Mathieu Sans and midfielder Salim Moizini (both knee) and defender Francois Marque (hip) are all out injured.