Bordeaux's Blanc admits tough times lie ahead
CAPBRETON, September 6 (Ligue 1) - Bordeaux coach Laurent Blanc admits his team are going through a tough spell as they seek to live up to their billing as genuine title contenders in Ligue 1 this season.
Les Girondins have lost two of their opening four games - away matches at Paris St Germain and Lille - and are already four points off the pace, which has been set by title rivals Marseille and Lyon.
Blanc knows his players need to step up their level to get back in touch with the early pace-setters and also be ready for the start of the Champions League group stage, which begins at the end of the month.
"There is progress to make and we have to be willing and motivated, even if you sometimes have to make errors so you don't commit the same ones again," he said.
"We are perhaps not in the best condition psychologically to be on top form at the moment. And we are going through a difficult period.
"With the matches we have coming up (this month, Bordeaux play Marseille in Ligue 1 and Chelsea in the Champions League), we must be at our best in a lot of areas."
Blanc saw his side draw 1-1 with Osasuna in a friendly on Friday night.
He organised the match against the Spaniards during the international break in an effort to give some players, such as summer signing Diego Placente, some much-needed game time and also to sharpen a few others up after a sluggish start to the campaign.
Les Girondins went ahead in the 49th minute but they conceded an equaliser barely 60 seconds later.
Blanc felt that summed up their season so far.
"I would have liked us to have won the match because after the disappointment of losing to Lille (2-1 last weekend), it would have been good psychologically for the lads," added the former France defender.
"We had the chance to do that but unfortunately we showed the same failings which I hope will not characterise our season.
"When we score a goal, we become weak because we are scared of conceding one. It is exactly what happened against Osasuna."