Fonte: 'Lille have learned'

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The lessons learned from last season's brush with relegation have helped spur LOSC Lille to greater heights this season, says Jose Fonte.

Only three wins in their last four games of 2017/18 allowed the northerners to pull clear of the bottom three and secure their top-flight status after a tumultuous season that saw Christophe Galtier replace Marcelo Bielsa as coach midway through the campaign.

With money tight over the summer, Galtier had little opportunity to strengthen his squad, but with many of the same players as last season, the former AS Saint-Etienne boss has revived the 2010/11 Ligue 1 Conforama champions spectacularly.

The 1-0 win at Montpellier Hérault SC courtesy of Nicolas Pepe's early goal took Lille into second place in the table when just 12 months they had been at the opposite end, and Fonte believes the trauma of last season has pushed the side to ensure they do not relive it this term.

"It's a new season, everything is different," said the Portugal international, who was one of Lille's rare summer arrivals, returning to Europe after a six-month spell in China.

"We have more experience, more confidence, we work a lot, we're well organised. And last year's experience has also been useful to the players, who have progressed since.

"But the most important thing is to keep working and stay humble. We'll see what happens after that."

>> MATCH REPORT: Montpellier 0-1 Lille


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