Coach Elie Baup says it is "make or break" for Toulouse FC as his side visit FC Zürich on Thursday looking to end a run of six European games without victory.
Still to win
Third in Ligue 1 last season, Toulouse have had a torrid continental campaign. The French team lost 5-0 on aggregate to Liverpool FC in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round, then got through the UEFA Cup first round on away goals following a 1-1 aggregate draw with PFC CSKA Sofia. And having suffered two UEFA Cup Group E defeats in as many matches, they are hoping to make it seventh time lucky in European competition.
Baup, who enjoyed successful excursions into Europe with FC Girondins de Bordeaux, accepts that his side can ill afford another setback in Group E, despite the mitigating absences of Daniel Congré (ankle), Paulo César (hamstring) and Jérémy Mathieu (foot). With Toulouse at full stretch, the coach said: "A European place is something special that we cannot waste, even though I'm not sure we have a big enough squad to compete on all the fronts we're involved in. With no points so far, it will be make or break in Zurich."
Waging Toulouse's first continental campaign in 20 years, Baup's players are not about to give up either. "I'm frustrated," said midfielder Achille Emana. "We worked so hard last season for a European berth and we cannot sign off without a win." With a home game against FC Spartak Moskva completing their UEFA Cup programme on 19 December, the nearest Toulouse have come to victory remains the decisive 1-1 second-leg draw at CSKA Sofia on 4 October. "It's our only real success," added Emana. "We're hungry for more."
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