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Mane out of form at Southampton


Montanier remains coy on Sociedad future

Philippe Montanier has told French media he is in no hurry to discuss his future at Real Sociedad, and urged his team to "focus on what we have to do" as they chase a place in the Champions League.

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A run of 18 games with just a single defeat has seen the San Sebastian club maintain its surprise push for a place in European football's elite club competition next season. However, whether Montanier, 48, is still at the helm of the side come the 2013-14 campaign remains to be seen.

"We haven't talked about it yet," the ex-Valenciennes boss, who signed a two-year deal with the Baque side in summer 2011, told RMC radio. "We'll sit down calmly with the board at the end of the season. We're not at that stage yet."

Should Montanier bring Champions League football back to the Anoeta, however, it would be a major surprise to see him shown the door. Mid-table in his maiden campaign in Spain, the Normandy-born manager has guided his team into fourth place this term, two points clear of Valencia in fifth.

Speaking to Ouest France, Montanier said: "We're in a good position today, but there are ten games left. It's going to be a sprint to the finish. You could say that we've started well, but unfortunately it's only the end that counts, the 38th game. It's not the good formula to think about places in the table.

"We have to focus above all on our game. Focus on what we have to do to get good results. We don't have an objective in terms of the table. We have objectives in terms of our play and our performances. The rest will come by itself.

"We have one of the best attacks in the league. That gives us more strength mentally in tough times, like against Barcelona when we were trailing 2-0, we're capable of coming back.

"We've only got difficult games. Even playing the team bottom of La Liga isn't easy. The fixtures are difficult for everyone. After the international break, the game against Espanyol is going to set the tone for our end to the season."

Montanier has previously found himself under fire from Sociedad fans last season and was also criticised after a slow start to the current campaign, before masterminding the club's transformation in fortunes.


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