Mandanda issues Marseille wake-up call
Marseille captain Steve Mandanda pulled no punches on Monday, berating his teammates for not trying hard enough to reverse the club's free-fall to the foot of the French league.
Mandanda was speaking 24 hours after Sunday's 2-0 defeat to league leaders Lyon deepened the 2010 champions' woes to leave them 11 points behind Lyon and winless after six games.
"What's certain is that we are not putting in the effort to get out of this position, both in training and in matches. We have to make more of an impact, show more willing, more aggression," said the France international.
"As for the title, we can completely forget about it for the time being, if we don't you'll think I'm just taking the mickey..." he told local media. "Today we don't scare any team."
Mandanda defended Didier Deschamps, dismissing the notion that the under fire Marseille manager had lost the confidence of the changing room. "We've won with him, we're experiencing difficult times with him, we'll get out of this with him."
Deschamps himself conceded his team's plight hurt him deeply and the man who captained France to the 1998 FIFA World Cup™ title appealed to his team's "character, self-esteem and pride".
"To pull ourselves out of this we need a great deal of moral and mental strength," insisted Deschamps after a meeting with the Marseille board who offered him their full support.
"I'm a believer, I'm not giving up," Deschamps said ahead of Marseille's midweek date with newly promoted Evian, who unlike their illustrious rivals on Wednesday have managed one win and are placed in the middle of the table with seven points, four more than hapless Marseille.