Paraded before the media as Carlo Ancelotti's successor at Paris Saint-Germain FC, Laurent Blanc has challenged his new team to be "daring" and "play attractive football".
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Laurent Blanc spoke of his desire for Paris Saint-Germain FC to play "attractive football" and to at least emulate last season's achievements during his unveiling as the Ligue 1 title holders' new coach.
The 47-year-old was appointed on Tuesday as the replacement for Real Madrid CF-bound Carlo Ancelotti, the man who last term steered the capital club to their first French crown since 1994 and into the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals.
At a press conference in Paris, the former France defender said he is "very proud to coach a team like PSG and that he and his staff "will do our utmost to reach the goals we'll be tasked with". The Parc des Princes side will, Blanc hopes, do so by playing a more expansive style than that which they exhibited in the 2012/13 campaign.
"We won the title with 83 points and reached the last eight of the Champions League," Blanc, who stepped down as Les Bleus coach after their quarter-final loss to Spain at UEFA EURO 2012, said of PSG's success under Ancelotti. "The aim will be to better that or at least equal it. I hope we can also beat that in terms of how we play.
"You can speak about performances for hours, but it's on the field that you have to play. Nonetheless, I am inheriting a good team and I want them to play better. We have to be daring in our play, all the while retaining a certain balance, because if we're too adventurous and lose I have an idea who will pay for that. We'll try to win and play attractive football."
Key to that will be Zlatan Ibrahimović, who became the first player to register 30 Ligue 1 goals in a season since Jean-Pierre Papin in 1989/90. "I hope he, as one of our leaders, and the others will drive the squad towards success," said Blanc, who will be assisted by long-time ally Jean-Louis Gassée.
Blanc also responded to suggestions that he was not PSG's number one choice to succeed Ancelotti. "Not being first on the list is not a problem for me," he said. "What counts is to have been chosen. I had my playing career and sometimes I was not first choice. Only the final result matters."
Blanc's first competitive game in charge will be the French Super Cup against FC Girondins de Bordeaux – the club he steered to the title in 2009, ending Olympique Lyonnais' run of seven consecutive championship triumphs – on 3 August. PSG open the 2013/14 Ligue 1 season six days later at Montpellier Hérault SC.