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Balotelli must 'deserve' Italy call-up - Conte

Italy
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Lorient coach Gourcuff aiming high

Lorient coach Christian Gourcuff says his side can hope for more than staving off relegation.

Les Merlus were in the Ligue 1 top four after going unbeaten in their first eight games - but a 6-1 thrashing at Valenciennes led to a run of four points from five games and sent them tumbling down the table.

Since then, four wins in a row, the latest a 2-0 triumph at Saint-Etienne on Sunday, has changed the picture.

"I'm now going to stop talking about us battling to stay up, even if we're not safe yet," Gourcuff, who saw Jeremie Aliadiere and Alain Traore score his team's goals in an impressive display against Les Verts, said.

"We can justifiably have other ambitions and dominate play more. It's very promising, but we have to keep the same attitude that we've shown in the last month and a half."

Lorient's best finish, seventh in the 2009-10 season, means they have never featured in European competition.

With struggling Reims the visitors to Brittany next weekend for the final game before the winter break, Gourcuff's men have an excellent opportunity to spend Christmas dreaming of what might be.

"It's very encouraging, but we mustn't stop here," midfielder Benjamin Corgnet said.

"We have to pick up as many points as we can now that we're in form. What we did this evening [against Saint-Etienne], we have to keep in mind."

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