"We have to stay focused for these last three matches. We need to win two of them and we will fight to the very end." Elie Baup has made his point. The season isn't over and holidays are still a little way off. Les Olympiens have already reached their initial objective of finishing in the top five. But by sitting in the top three all season long, the OM coach isn't entertaining anything other than a place on the podium, and preferably on the second step - for financial reasons as much as sporting! In the 2011/12 season, there was a two million Euros difference in the television rights money attributed to second-place compared to third. In these current times, that's a lot of money, especially when you add that second place qualifies directly for the group phase of the Champions League, without having to go through the preliminary qualifiers. "We can't give up here. Our goal is to win and stay second," insisted the coach.
Following the victory at home over Bastia, Les Olympiens have spent the week preparing for a second consecutive home match, with focusing on the famous legend of how hard it is to win back to back home games. "We are focused entirely on this one match, not the fact that we are hosting two home matches in a row. We just need to be ready. The finish line is not far away and this isn't the time to start posing irrelevant questions. The players have worked hard this week, they have been motivated and committed with energy and concentration."
Elie Baup's men are undefeated in nine matches and are intent on extending that run. "We want to keep on this positive dynamic to play well this weekend and reflect all the intensity that we have put into training this week."
Tenth on the ladder, TFC are coming off a resounding 4-2 victory over Lille after a run of three losses and a draw. "Toulouse have just produced an excellent result against Lille and looked good in their new 3-5-2 formation. It worked well and they will stick with it again this weekend. There was a real element of surprise with their high pressing line and an organisation that allowed their players to pick each other out high up the pitch and their midfield was very good," warned Baup.
The Marseille coach also rubbished claims that Toulouse have nothing left to play for this season. "Everyone has something at stake because of the financial rewards for each position on the table. Toulouse will give it everything. They are a very good team and when we met them in Week 18, they were in the hunt for the European places, before going through a rough patch. But they are a team to be wary of and they can finish the season well," he concluded.