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Lyon's Lopes has suspension increased


Garde regrets failure to help Gourcuff

Yoann Gourcuff
Yoann Gourcuff has struggled to find his best form since a big-money move to Lyon in 2010.

Remi Garde has told RTL he regrets not being able to get the best out of Yoann Gourcuff while in charge of Lyon.

Garde, 48, announced last week he was stepping down as coach of the seven-time Ligue 1 champions, ending his three-year tenure at the Stade de Gerland.

Gourcuff, 27, who arrived at OL in 2010 in a 22 million euro move from Bordeaux, should have been a central figure in the success Garde enjoyed at the helm of the club.

However, the France international, blighted by injury -- the most recent of which was sustained while out walking his dog -- contributed only fitfully to OL's development under Garde.

Though the midfielder has been the subject of criticism in the French media, Garde insisted that Gourcuff was not solely responsible for his inability to fully exploit his potential.

"It's not [Gourcuff's] commitment that I'm disappointed by, it's what we weren't able to do together with him," he said.

"It would be a little unfair to say that there is just one person to blame in this situation. If he didn't feel good about himself, then we must have made some mistakes as well as him.

"I tried a lot of things, but perhaps by changing coach, he's going to get back to his best form. He has talent to burn, but hasn't shown it. I thought we perhaps had things right, but each time there was a hiccup, often an injury, which derailed everything."

Sidelined by an ankle injury, Gourcuff saw his teammates beat Nice 1-0 last weekend to secure a fifth-placed finish and Europa League qualification in Garde's last competitive game in charge.

Garde is expected to be replaced by Hubert Fournier, who coached Reims last season, while the former Strasbourg and Arsenal midfielder takes the break from football he explained he so badly needs after three tumultuous years in his first senior role in the dug-out.

"Of course, it was a well-thought-through decision, not easy to take, but I assume it and I'm happy to have made this choice," Garde added. "There are no regrets. I did the maximum I could do for three years. It seemed better for the club and myself for me to step away."

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas recently ruled Juninho Pernambucano out of the running to be the club's new coach.


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