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Aug 23, 2014

Nantes v AS Monaco: Preview

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AS MonacoAS Monaco
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Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim has urged his side to retain their self-belief despite a disappointing start to the Ligue 1 season.

The principality club, who registered their best ever points tally last term to finish second under former boss Claudio Ranieri, have failed to take a point from their opening two league games this campaign.

They travel to the Stade de la Beaujoire to face Nantes on Sunday evening looking to recover having followed up their opening 2-1 home loss against Lorient with 4-1 pummelling at Bordeaux last Sunday, and Jardim remains confident his players will turn things around.

``We must believe in our goals and continue to work to achieve them,'' he said at his pre-match press conference on Friday.

``We always have an obligation to win. We want to win this match to consolidate our style of play.

``We must continue to believe in our group. Our workforce is young. It takes time. The group is ambitious.''

Jardim has already used 19 players this season, and could shuffle his pack again this weekend with fit-again striker Radamel Falcao possibly in line for his first start of the campaign.

In contrast to Monaco, Les Canaris head into this weekend's clash unbeaten.

Michel der Zakarian's side have collected four points from their two games, but have so far only faced newly promoted opposition; they beat Lens 1-0 on the opening weekend and then drew 1-1 at Metz.

``The fans will be with us, but we need to be aggressive and sparkling,'' Der Zakarian said. ``We have to win and be ambitious.

``The players have experience. They know they're capable of great things.''

Nantes' Senegalese defender Papy Djilobodji has been heavily linked with a move to Marseille in recent weeks, but looks to be staying put for the time being.

``Today Papy is here; there are no offers for him,'' Der Zakarian said.

ends

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