Lisandro: We must stop making excuses
Lyon striker Lisandro Lopez has admitted that he and his team-mates need to do more to turn around their ailing form as the seven-time champions struggle to hold on to a top-three berth in Ligue 1.
Lisandro, 30, remained at the Stade de Gerland despite January interest from Juventus and Tottenham Hotspur, and he was not the only Lyon player to come close to leaving the club as president Jean-Michel Aulas tries to reduce a suffocating wage bill.
Lyon's form has been poor since the turn of the year, culminating in a sequence of three successive defeats - their worst run in two decades - before last weekend's 3-1 home win against Toulouse.
However, OL's performance in that game was still some way short of their best, and the Argentine told the media on Wednesday ahead of Friday's match at Montpellier that the team cannot continue to look for excuses.
"The squad was maybe destabilised during the transfer window, but that lasts for a month and after you have to be at 100%," he was quoted as saying by sports daily L'Equipe. "The players are looking for too many excuses to explain the crisis. We have not made enough of an effort or had the right attitude, and that makes it harder to get out of a difficult situation."
Lisandro has endured his hardest season on a personal level since arriving in France in 2009, with just nine league goals so far. However, he blames having to play most of his games in a wide position rather than a central striking role for his relatively low goal-scoring return.
"I'd like to score more goals but my position this season is more defensive," he said.
He also refused to be drawn on his future at the club beyond the summer.
"I have a year left on my contract. We will look at my situation at the end of this season," he said, although the club need to qualify for the Champions League if they are to stand any chance of keeping their leading players or strengthening the squad.
Meanwhile, forward Alexandre Lacazette, scorer of three league goals this season, has confirmed via Twitter that he will be unavailable for "around three weeks" with a hamstring injury suffered against Toulouse last weekend.
"If he is out that long, it would not be good news for us," coach Remi Garde said. "His individual stats don't reveal all that he brings to the team. He is an important player for us."
Third-placed Lyon are two points clear of Saint-Etienne and Nice before travelling to reigning champions Montpellier, the first game of a tough-looking run-in.
They must play Saint-Etienne at home in the Rhone derby, entertain Paris Saint-Germain and go to Nice in the closing weeks of the campaign.