UEFA.com works better on other browsers
For the best possible experience, we recommend using Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge.

Decision time for Blanc's Bordeaux

FC Girondins de Bordeaux coach Laurent Blanc insists that his side have "no choice" but to claim all three points against surprise package CFR 1907 Cluj as they attempt to recover from a dismal start in Group A.

Bordeaux coach Laurent Blanc
Bordeaux coach Laurent Blanc ©Getty Images

FC Girondins de Bordeaux coach Laurent Blanc insists his side have "no choice" but to claim all three points against CFR 1907 Cluj on Wednesday as they attempt to recover from a dismal start in Group A.

Defensive problems
Back-to-back defeats have left the five-time French champions bottom of the section with the worst defensive record of any team after two Matchdays, and Blanc accepts that another setback would almost certainly bring his first UEFA Champions League run in the dugout to a premature halt. "[CFR] Cluj have surprised a lot of people and we respect them, but if we want to stay in the competition we have to win," the 42-year-old said. "We owe it to ourselves to produce a strong performance."

'CFR favourites'
Yet toppling the impressive Romanian double winners has so far proved beyond both AS Roma and Chelsea FC. The Transylvanian debutants have taken instantly to life in Europe's élite club competition, collecting four points from their opening two fixtures and making Blanc wary. "They're favourites given their results," argued the former France captain. "Not many people knew about CFR before the draw but now everyone knows they must be taken seriously. They're well-organised and have many skilful individuals, especially in attack."

Gourcuff threat
Bordeaux, however, will feel they have a potential match-winner of their own. Yoann Gourcuff has been in scintillating form, following up his goal against Roma on 1 October with a brilliant strike for France against Romania. He then inspired Saturday's 2-1 home victory over Toulouse FC with another goal and an assist. Blanc, whose side are unbeaten in five domestic matches, will give Gourcuff a free role although he denied that his charges have become reliant on the 22-year-old playmaker. "He's just one player," said Blanc, who is missing suspended defenders Henrique and Benoît Trémoulinas but welcomes goalkeeper Ulrich Ramé back from injury. "If Cluj put all their efforts into stopping Yoann then everyone else will have more space."

Positive approach
Such stifling tactics seem unlikely, though, with CFR coach Maurizio Trombetta urging his team to play positively in south-west France. "It's difficult to say if a draw would be a good result because it depends on what happens," Trombetta explained. "I'd like to win, of course, but above all I'd like my side to carry on playing the way they've played against Roma, Chelsea and FC [Dinamo] 1948 Bucureşti." Friday's 1-0 home success against Dinamo, earned by Yssouf Koné's goal, brought them back to within six points of the Liga 1 pacesetters and confirmed their resurgence under Trombetta.

Trombetta warning
The 46-year-old Italian, sampling his first taste of the UEFA Champions League, has overseen a run of eight games without defeat since taking charge last month. "Everybody is enjoying their football and the spirit is very strong," observed Trombetta, who will name the same lineup that held Chelsea to a goalless draw should Dani pass a fitness test. "The important thing is to keep working hard on the pitch because Bordeaux will be a very difficult opponent. The fact they finished second in Ligue 1 last season and are currently fourth proves they are a good side."