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Dec 6, 2012

Lyon's Garde sets sights on title glory

Lyon coach Remi Garde says he dreams of winning the Ligue 1 title every night after steering his team to the top of the table.

Garde's men have a two-point lead over second-placed Marseille with three games remaining before the winter break.

And he said: "I'm able to talk in cliches when I have to, but I can't do it now. Everyone dreams of the title. I dream of winning the title.

"But in that phrase there's the word 'dream'. If all that is taken into account, then yes, I can say that every night I go to sleep dreaming of winning the title, and I hope that my players do the same.

"But dreaming of something doesn't mean that you're going to easily achieve it."

The fixture list prior to Christmas underlines Garde's warning. Alongside winnable-looking home games against Nancy and Nice are away trips to Saint-Etienne and Paris Saint-Germain, both of whom are five points off the pace in third and fourth place respectively.

"It's still up to PSG. It's only up to PSG," former Arsenal midfielder Garde said. "Normally, Paris should be well ahead, and our five-point cushion does not mean we're out of reach."

He said he believed a summer clear-out at Lyon had laid the foundations for this season's success, explaining: "The dressing room is better, the spirit the squad has. The dressing room needed an overhaul."

Although players including Cris and Kim Kallstrom, as well as Hugo Lloris, departed, Lisandro Lopez remained at the Stade de Gerland.

The Argentina international's public grumbling earlier this season about his positioning on the left of midfield rather than as a central striker, might have been expected to rile Garde.

But the coach said: "I wouldn't go as far as to say that it was a good thing, but I didn't find it a problem. He expresses himself. I have a certain character, but I don't want my team to only have my character, otherwise we'll get nowhere."

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