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Toulouse's Gradel: 'Marseille loss will inspire us'

Publish on 19/08/2018 at 14:00

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Toulouse captain Max-Alain Gradel insists his club's opening-day defeat to Olympique de Marseille will only spur the squad on to greater efforts.

Gradel was on loan at Toulouse last season when they only escaped the drop into Domino's Ligue 2 by successfully coming through their relegation/promotion play-off with AC Ajaccio.

The Ivory Coast international made his switch from English Premier League side Bournemouth permanent this summer, and though the 4-0 loss in Marseille in Week 1 brought back bad memories of last season, Gradel is certain it will instead inspire the side to wipe them away against Garonne rivals Girondins de Bordeaux on Sunday.

"It doesn't make us happy to lose our first game, but it's still only the start of the season and we were up against OM after all. It's going to make us redouble our efforts and put right what wasn't good," said the former AS Saint-Etienne forward, who has been handed the captain's armband by new coach Alain Casanova.

"We're aware the season has started and we have to pick up points now, but a new coach has come in, new players too. Things aren't going to change in a month-and-a-half."

WATCH: Marseille maul Toulouse in Week 1

Gradel was just one of a host of summer recruits to the south-west club with goalkeeper Baptiste Reynet coming in from Dijon FCO and Matthieu Dossevi arriving from FC Metz just two of a raft of new faces.

"All those coming in, we have told them what happened last season, the importance of not going through that again. It's up to them to bring us a different kind of attitude. It works both ways," said Gradel, who revealed he could have been playing elsewhere but for Toulouse president Olivier Sadran.

"It would have been easier for me to go to another club, but to stay here was also a challenge. I wanted to help the club get back on the right track. And also I met some wonderful people here. The coach put great faith in me when he arrived, the president too found the right words."

The 30-year-old added: "A lot of clubs made approaches for me, it wasn't easy to convince me, but the president reassured me by telling me he was going to invest this year. He gave me his word and a lot of players arrived, you have seen that. He can't do any more than that. It's up to us to give confidence back to those people who believe less in us."