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I'm staying at Lille, insists Garcia

Lille coach Rudi Garcia has told French TV station Canal Plus that he intends to stay at the club until his contract expires at the end of next season.

Garcia, 49, is in his fifth campaign at the helm of the northern club but was the subject of criticism as Lille initially struggled to cope with the loss of key players including Eden Hazard over the summer.

Now, however, they are back in form - and Garcia says he is going nowhere and is fully focused on leading his team back into Europe.

"I have a year remaining on my contract and I want to honour it. I have no career plan and I am happy at Lille," he told Canal Football Club on Sunday, dismissing suggestions that he might be tempted to take up a new challenge abroad.

Garcia said he was delighted with the recent form shown by the 2011 double-winners, who had been in mid-table after an inconsistent first half of the campaign. However, a run of five consecutive wins has lifted them to sixth place.

After Saturday's 3-1 victory away to local rivals Valenciennes, Lille are now just two points away from Saint-Etienne in fourth and four behind Marseille in third, meaning a return to the Champions League next season remains a possibility.

"A few weeks ago, nobody thought that we would come back like this," Garcia added. "The objective is to qualify for Europe. If we are still in touch with the teams at the top five games from the end, then we'll get there."


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