Cris launches Puel defence
Defender Cris feels players are just as much to blame as coach Claude Puel for Lyon's poor start to the term.
Last Updated: 09/10/10 1:09pm
Lyon defender Cris is adamant the players are just as much to blame as under-pressure coach Claude Puel for the club's poor start to the Ligue 1 season.
The French side, who reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League for the first time in their history under Puel last term, have won just two of their eight league encounters so far this campaign, collecting eight points to sit a lowly 17th in the standings.
Calls for Puel's head have inevitably been mounting, but 33-year-old veteran Cris is keeping faith in the manager and insists the responsibility should be shared.
"Indeed when the results are not good, the atmosphere is not great. It is difficult but we know it will change," Cris told L'Equipe.
"The coach has his own style, very steady. He is not laughing a lot, but since last winter, he has really evolved.
"Now we are in a difficult period, but we don't want to give up. The players are the main actors on the pitch. The coach is building the starting XI, but then, it is up to us.
"We have been protected, because when we have bad results the first man to be sacked is usually the coach.
"But we have to share responsibilities. The results are depending on us. Yes, currently the coach is risking his head, but us too."
Brazil international Cris, who arrived at Lyon six years ago, has only played two matches this season due to thigh muscle problems.
However, the centre-back insists he is now raring to go and is targeting a return when Lyon host Lille after the international break.
"Against Lille, I will be on the pitch," he added. "I am so eager to play. I am keen to play."