02.04.2014 19:53 - in: Europa League S

    Lyon pair pledge all-out effort against Juve

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    Coach Remi Garde and midfielder Steed Malbranque say Lyon are looking to play the perfect match in order to overcome the tough challenge awaiting them against Juventus in tomorrow’s Europa League quarter-final first leg

    Manager Remi Garde and midfielder Steed Malbranque have revealed that an ambitious Lyon side will be giving their all to overcome what they predict as a stern test against Juventus.

    The French outfit are unbeaten in their five Europa League home games so far, but the pair believe that a faultless performance will be required to maintain that 100 per cent record at the Stade de Gerland against the Bianconeri in tomorrow’s quarter-final first leg.

    Speaking at the club’s pre-match press conference, Garde began: “We’ve got a mountain in front of us, but we’ll do all in our power to climb it. We’ll have to play the perfect match tomorrow.”

    The team's coach since June 2011 went on to stress that the scale of the challenge does not faze his men. Instead, he confirmed that they are excited to put themselves to the test.

    “My players may be young, but they’re ambitious and this type of game will help them grow.

    “They can’t wait to give it their all in this showcase. It will be our 52nd game of the year, but the best men available will be playing tomorrow nevertheless.”

    Focusing on the threat Juventus pose to their ambitions of becoming the first French side to reach the semi-final of the new Europa League, Garde highlighted Carlos Tevez amongst the strong overall unit assembled by opposite number Antonio Conte.

    “Juve dominate their league and are full of top players. Tevez is a constant danger and Conte is doing an excellent job: he knows how to make his team play well.”

    Sitting alongside Garde in the press suite was midfielder Malbranque, who echoed the boss’ view of the task facing Lyon.

    The 34-year-old began: “We’re up against a big team who are formidable opposition. We must make the most of this chance and not be content with just reaching the quarter-finals.”

    He went on to admit that a 2-1 defeat to Rhone Valley rivals Saint-Etienne at the weekend was a bitter pill to swallow, but concluded by saying that Lyon’s focus is now very much on the quarter-final with Juventus.

    “It was difficult coming to terms with the derby defeat, but now we’re concentrated on Juventus. I know that the players who line up tomorrow will do their utmost to get a result.”

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