FC Nantes Atlantique coach Raynald Denoueix insists his side be aiming for victory in their final Group D clash at home to S.S. Lazio in the UEFA Champions League, even though a draw would be enough to carry them through to the second group stage.
'Going for the win'
"We are going for the win," Denoueix said after Nantes had gained a point in a 0-0 draw away to PSV Eindhoven that puts them on top of the section.
The two sides of Nantes
Denoueix then attempted to explain the contrasting nature of the French champions' form in Europe and in France. "We have a team that is not so motivated in the national competition but it is a good team," he said. "You can see that when we play the top sides like [S.S.] Lazio and PSV."
Solid away form
Nantes, bottom of the table in their domestic league with no wins in eleven games, have laid the platform for progress in the Champions League with their robust defensive work away from home. They have taken one win and two draws from their three away games.
Testing for PSV
PSV, on the other hand, have it all to do now and face a tough test away to Galatasaray SK who are also hoping for qualification in a group in which every team remains in the hunt with one game to go.
PSV lack a cutting edge
As long as the Dutch side avoid defeat they will go through by virtue of their home victory over the Turkish side. Against Nantes there was little evidence of the attacking skills which brought them their three goals in that game, however. They came closest to scoring in the 15th minute when Mickaël Landreau pulled off a stunning double save from Mateja Kezman and Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink. Three minutes from time Vennegoor of Hesselink met a corner with a powerful header but found substitute Salomon Olembe on the line to clear.
It was a frustrating night for PSV and coach Erik Gerets put the blame on their inability to take chances - in this game and also last week away to Lazio. "We could not finish the chances and that is the reason why PSV are not a top team," he said.
"The opportunity is still there for us to get through to the next round but it is going to be difficult in Istanbul," Gerets added. "We will go there as underdogs but if the players enjoy themselves maybe we will get the point we need."
Praise for Lucius
Gerets also praised midfielder Theo Lucius but said his team were missing the injured Mark van Bommel.