Puel given board backing
Lyon chairman Jean-Michel Aulas has assured coach Claude Puel that his job is safe, for now.
By Patrick Haond
Last Updated: 21/09/10 2:07pm
Lyon chairman Jean-Michel Aulas has assured under-fire coach Claude Puel that his job is safe, for now.
Pressure is mounting on the Lyon boss following a dismal start to the 2010/11 campaign.
Just five points have been taken from the club's opening six games, leaving them languishing towards the foot of the table.
Aulas admits that performances must improve if the current regime, including himself, are to remain in their posts, but he is convinced that Puel remains the ideal candidate to bring about a reversal in fortune.
He told L'Equipe: "Is Claude Puel threatened? Just like the chairman, any coach who doesn't have success at Lyon is threatened.
"Five points in six matches is obviously not enough. That doesn't justify the heavy investment that has been made in the last two years.
"However, we won our first match in the Champions League against Schalke and we are now concentrating on the derby (against St Etienne on Saturday).
"Would losing the derby be the end of Puel? No, I don't think so. But that is not the right question. The right question is how do we win the derby?
"Changing the coach would be dramatic and I have never seen a case of a club changing their coach and having a sudden change of ambition.
"If no-one has done it before, why should I do it? Anyway, I believe Puel has a lot of qualities.
"To be clear, Puel is not untouchable and the cost of sacking him is not an issue. I just think that changing is not the best solution right now."
Meanwhile, Aulas has confirmed that Argentine frontman Lisandro Lopez is set for a spell on the sidelines.
He picked up a thigh strain in the 2-0 defeat against Bordeaux on Sunday and is expected to be out for up to three weeks.
"Today we know that the injury is serious," said Aulas.
"We will have to wait another 48 hours before we know the exact nature of the injury, but it will probably require two or three weeks of rest."