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Marseille look to clear the air

The Marseille squad held a clear-the-air talk after Sunday's 3-0 home defeat to Lorient, the latest in a run of heavy losses for the club.

With leaders Lyon playing on Sunday evening, OM had the chance to move top of the table when they entertained their visitors from Brittany. However, after Charles Kabore's 38th-minute dismissal, Elie Baup's men slipped to a third defeat in four competitive fixtures, provoking Monday's meeting between the squad and staff to pick over the bones of their recent slump.

"You have to be able to talk about things to get them out of your system, and so we can get our heads up for the last three games of the year," said Baup, 47, whose team play Bastia behind closed doors in Corsica on Wednesday.

"What did you want us to do? To say what we'd done against Lorient was good? What was said has to stay between us, but it was just the usual stuff. In those situations, I look for people to get it off their chests, because it's much healthier and more beneficial than things being said behind people's backs."

Just as worrying is that Marseille have conceded 11 goals in their last four outings in all competitions. The reverse at the hands of Lorient followed a 4-1 thumping by Lyon in their previous game at the Stade Velodrome - the first time in the club's history they had lost back-to-back home games by a three-goal margin.

"When things aren't going well, it's not the defence who should have the finger pointed at them," centre-back Nicolas N'Koulou said. "It's a team question. We know that we're not in the best form right now and that we have to put things right.

"We're lacking quite a few things at the moment, such as a little physical freshness, but we're not going to get bogged down in that. We're going to try to reproduce the good times that we had, notably at the start of the season, and hope we'll put a good run together to be able to enjoy the winter break."

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