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Apr 16, 2014

PSG president insists Blanc job is safe

PSG manager Laurent Blanc says his team won't approach their UEFA Champions League second leg with Chelsea simply looking to defend their 3-1 lead.

Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi has insisted that he wants Laurent Blanc to stay on as manager of the French league leaders next season.

• Johnson: Hard questions asked of PSG after Lyon defeat
• Laurens: PSG's 'mini-crisis' turns up the pressure on Blanc

Blanc has come under fresh scrutiny after PSG’s exit from Europe was swiftly followed by a 1-0 league loss to Lyon on Sunday.

But Al-Khelaifi has sought to end speculation by telling Le Parisien that defeat to Chelsea in the Champions League quarterfinals will not cost the former France coach his job.

“I’m extremely surprised to read the different comments about our coach Laurent Blanc,” he told the French daily in Doha.

“It’s very simple -- he’s our coach at the moment and I’d emphasise that I want him to stay.

“I was very clear about that before the second leg of the Champions League against Chelsea and my opinion has not changed after that game.”

Blanc’s contract runs until the end of next season. The PSG coach said before Sunday’s league match that he would give himself 10 days before responding to the club’s proposal to extend that deal by a year.

Ahead of another meeting with Lyon in the Coupe de la Ligue final, Al-Khelaifi said he would still have full confidence in his coach regardless of the result on Saturday.

“Laurent Blanc has my unconditional support and nothing that happens on the pitch can change that,” he said.

Meanwhile, former PSG sporting director Leonardo has denied rumours that he is helping the club find a new manager.

The former Brazil international said he had no intention of returning to the French champions. He also backed Blanc to continue at the club.

“He’s had very good results,” the former PSG full-back told RMC. “PSG needs serenity. I think that Laurent Blanc will be the future of PSG.”

PSG midfielder Marco Verratti says that the club’s players must take responsibility for their defeat to Chelsea.

“Against Chelsea, we played against one of the best teams in the world,” the Italian international told reporters in Paris on Tuesday. “It’s always very difficult to take on an opponent of that dimension.

“That there are questions about the role of the coach is quite normal after this type of defeat.

“If there was a goal scored at Stamford Bridge in the 94th minute, it would have been said that we were sensational. Football is like that.

“When you lose, it’s always the coach who is targeted. But it doesn’t work like that.

“Everyone is responsible. We, the players, simply didn’t play our best match possible at Chelsea.”

Speaking at a sponsor’s event in the French capital, Verratti said that he hoped that the latest disappointment could serve PSG in the future.

“We have to make sure that this loss might make us grow and that it brings us more experience for our next campaigns in the Champions League.”

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