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Coulibaly seeking to reward Auxerre fans

AJ Auxerre defender Adama Coulibaly says the Ligue 1 team want to register their first Group G win, against AFC Ajax, in order to "thank our supporters" for their continued backing.

Adama Coulibaly (right) speaks to the media on the eve of Auxerre's game against Ajax
Adama Coulibaly (right) speaks to the media on the eve of Auxerre's game against Ajax ©Getty Images

After three defeats for AJ Auxerre in as many UEFA Champions League encounters, Adama Coulibaly wants the French club to reward its supporters for their backing with a first victory in Group G when AFC Ajax visit the Stade Abbé-Deschamps.

Following a 2-0 loss to AC Milan on Matchday 1 ‒ when it took the Rossoneri until midway through the second half to break the deadlock ‒ Auxerre have suffered single-goal losses to Real Madrid CF and Ajax. The Madrid setback was particularly disappointing, Ángel Di María hitting the winner nine minutes from time, and so with Ajax arriving in Burgundy two weeks after inflicting a 2-1 defeat on Jean Fernandez's team, Coulibaly views the game as a chance for Auxerre to change not only their luck but the course of their campaign.

"After three matches and three defeats, we want to do something against Ajax," said the Mali defender. "We want to win to thank our supporters." Those fans have, though, seen their side improve upon a disappointing start to the season domestically by winning three of their last four Ligue 1 fixtures, the latest being a 2-0 home triumph over OGC Nice on Saturday.

Understandably, Coulibaly thinks Auxerre are improving game by game. "During the three matches we were not far from getting a result," explained the 30-year-old. "Against Real [Madrid] we had more chances but could not score. A victory will bring more victories and so let's hope it starts tomorrow."

Should that be the case, then Auxerre would move to within a point of their third-placed opponents and breathe new life into their hopes of qualifying for the UEFA Europa League. Coulibaly, yet to miss a minute of his team's continental campaign this term, thinks that would be the ideal way to repay the supporters.

"Tomorrow it's time to do something for our fans, for our families, and for everybody at the club," added the former RC Lens player. Such is Auxerre's predicament at the foot of the section, however, that Fernandez regards the visit of Ajax as "our last chance". "We have two home matches left and we want to take maximum points from those two games," the trainer said. "Then we will see what happens."