Ranieri: We must stay motivated

Monaco coach Claudio Ranieri has warned his side they must maintain concentration as they seek to seal second place in French Ligue 1 with victory at already-relegated Ajaccio.

Monaco head into the weekend trailing leaders Paris Saint-Germain by ten points and holding a comfortable eight-point advantage of their own over third-placed Lille. But Ranieri insists his players must take nothing for granted as they prepare to take on opponents who had their relegation fate sealed by last week's Corsican derby defeat to Bastia.

With his side hunting a fourth straight Ligue 1 win, Ranieri told a press conference: "Paris are almost champions and Lille are eight points behind and it is difficult in these conditions to keep the players motivated.

It will not be an easy game just because they are relegated.
Claudio Ranieri, Monaco coach

"But the most important objective for us is to finish second and I don't know if three points [against Ajaccio] will be enough to achieve our goal. It will not be an easy game just because they are relegated. They will play without pressure and our mentality must be as it is in any other games."

Ajaccio's slim survival hopes suffered a fatal blow last week with defeat to their neighbours but boss Christian Bracconi has hailed his players for their desire to fight to the end of the season.

Despite four games without a win, Bracconi told his club's official website: "We never give up and that is a credit to the group. It is a pity because if we had started the season with this group of players we surely would not be in this position. The goal is to take as many points as we can and redeem ourselves after the derby defeat."