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 By Ian Holyman
Aug 21, 2014

Monaco owner unhappy with start

Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim insists his side must play with ambition before its Ligue 1 opener against Bordeaux.

Monaco owner Dmitri Rybolovlev is "not satisfied" with his club's deflating start to the Ligue 1 season, his right-hand man has told L'Equipe.

- Laurens: Monaco's woeful start

Russian billionaire Rybolovlev, 47, has ploughed hundreds of millions of euros of his vast fortune into the principality club since becoming majority shareholder in December 2011.

In that time, the magnate has seen his team return to Ligue 1 and qualify for the Champions League group stage by finishing runners-up to Paris Saint-Germain last season.

However, the decision to part ways with Claudio Ranieri this summer and replace him with Leonardo Jardim has so far backfired with the former Sporting Lisbon man's side losing both of their Ligue 1 games to date, including last Sunday's crushing 4-1 loss at Bordeaux.

"I'm in daily contact with him, and he's not satisfied," Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev said of Rybolovlev. "But he has faith in the coach, in the team, in the project. He's still just as ambitious.

"We have started badly, but I'm not worried. We have changed a lot of things in the way we work. It takes time for it to stick. Things aren't working as we would like with the players.

Jardim has overseen two victories in his first two Ligue 1 games with Monaco.

"We're going to have to wait a few days, perhaps a few weeks, football isn't an exact science. We've only had two games. We'll draw conclusions at the end of the season. I'm convinced by our project."

Despite Ranieri, who had guided the club from the Ligue 2 backwaters to second place last season, having a year left on his contract at the Stade Louis II, Jardim was brought in to oversee the next stage of the club's aim to establish themselves as a serious rival to PSG on the domestic front and as a major Champions League force.

After the team's disastrous start, Jardim's appointment -- or rather the removal of Ranieri -- is now being questioned.

"That's normal," Vasilyev responded. "Claudio did some great work, the results were perfect. We made a strategic choice, it's not a change for a season. And we're not going to change strategy after two bad results. We believe in our project and our strategy."

He insisted that Jardim, who signed a two-year deal, still had the club's full backing ahead of this weekend's Ligue 1 meeting with Nantes.

"He's not under pressure. We know who he is. We believe in him, and he will succeed here. We hope that it will be better against Nantes, but there is no obligation to get a result."

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