'Hot' Bordeaux keep feet on ground
By Football News
Bordeaux coach Francis Gillot is unfazed by the favourites tag his side will carry into the Coupe de France final with Evian.
Gillot's side finished the Ligue 1 season in seventh position, while Evian were 16th - just two points clear of the relegation zone.
Gillot said his team should be considered favourites for Friday's match at the Stade de France, especially after their 2-1 victory over Evian in their final league match of the season.
But the coach cautioned his team against complacency in the cutthroat final.
"We are always asked who is the favourite. It's not interesting," Gillot said.
"You can ask the players. They are not interested in that. On paper, for me, we are favourite.
"It's obvious. Bordeaux have a bigger budget than Evian.
"But in a single game, anything can happen. If we win on Friday, that would be expected. But if Evian win, that would mean that Bordeaux hasn't done what it takes to win. That's how we would interpret it."
Bordeaux skipper Jaroslav Plasil said his team-mates should embrace the occasion.
"It's a final. We don't have the opportunity to play it every time," Plasil said.
"Evian will be highly motivated, just like us. I think it's normal for a final.
"Some of our players are going to play for the first time at the Stade de France.
"It's something special. We have talented and experienced players who want to win this cup.
"I think it's positive. I can give the players some advice, but the final is on Friday and we will have to be ready."
Evian coach Pascal Dupraz, meanwhile, said his team must believe in themselves if they are to lift the first major trophy in their history.
"We'll need belief, we'll need enthusiasm," Dupraz said.
"I will insist on the word enthusiasm because to beat Bordeaux we'll have to be enthusiastic and we'll have to do everything we did good lately, except the last game (a 2-1 loss against Bordeaux).
"We'll have to think as a team, because for a coach of a humble club, there is nothing better than to realise that your players are playing for each other and believe they are part of a collective."