Monaco braced for Bordeaux test
By I. Holyman
AS Monaco take on a troubled Girondins de Bordeaux side on Sunday with the principality club seeking to step up their own momentum.
Girondins de Bordeaux - AS Monaco
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Last season's Ligue 1 Conforama runners-up began the campaign with the bang of a 3-1 win at FC Nantes in Week 1, but then stuttered to a goalless draw when they welcomed LOSC Lille to the Stade Louis II last weekend.
Despite the combined talents of Radamel Falcao, making his first start of the season, Stevan Jovetic and Rony Lopes all being on the pitch from kick-off, Monaco failed to score for only the second time in 56 home games and were forced to settle for a frustrating point.
"I've been in football a long time, I didn't come into football by helicopter just last week. I had said this team would be difficult to play against. Sometimes, Lille were on top, other times it was us," said Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim, who saw a second-half Falcao penalty saved.
WATCH: Lille hold Monaco at home
"The penalty could have changed the game. The 0-0 was a fair result. The team made a few bad passes. They need time, experience, to improve and better control the game. We tried to control the game. We tried with Jovetic as a number ten, but, well…With [Aleksandr] Golovin or Adama [Traoré], it'll be different. The team didn't play badly, they didn't play well either."
While Jardim ponders his tactical choices for the game at Stade Matmut Atlantique, goalkeeper Diego Benaglio acknowledged there is room for improvement.
Benaglio: 'Work to be done'
"I think the first two games weren't bad, but we still have a lot of work," said the former Switzerland international, who has been deputising while Danijel Subasic regains fitness after his FIFA World Cup exploits with Croatia.
"We're a very young team this year and we have to keep working on every aspect: tactics, possession so we don't lose the ball so easily. The aim is to improve week on week, match after match. I'm very confident."
Confidence is a commodity in desperately short supply at Bordeaux, one of five teams yet to pick up a single point in France's top division after 180 minutes of league football.
WATCH: Bordeaux sink in Toulouse
Following the opening-day disappointment of a home loss to RC Strasbourg-Alsace, les Girondins were thrown into further turmoil by coach Gustavo Poyet's removal from his duties before the derby defeat at Toulouse in Week 2.
"It's a bit more complicated. Not that the players aren't professional. They're pros and they're used to it," said interim boss Eric Bedouet, who moved into the top job at the club while Poyet's dismissal is finalised and a successor found. "It's the fifth time I've done it, but I don't do it happily. I also got along well with the previous staff. But that's the job, you have to adapt."
He added: "There weren't any particular problems, pre-season had gone extremely well, and we weren't expecting that. Of course this upsets things even if we are used to this sort of thing. We have a young team and need to react. Some of them are a bit distracted by all this, but we have to keep going and keep our heads up."
Bordeaux: to follow
Monaco: to follow