Thursday, August 8, 2013

Blanc: PSG has no right to make mistakes this season

Les Parisiens' coach has pinpointed Lyon, Marseille and Monaco as title rivals ahead of the opening game of the campaign against Montpellier on Friday
Laurent Blanc has laid down the gauntlet for his Paris Saint-Germain players by saying his team has "no right" to make mistakes this season.

Les Parisiens are the reigning Ligue 1 champions, having lifted the title for the first time in 19 years under Carlo Ancelotti in May, and kick off 2013-14 with a clash against Montpellier on Friday.

With the Italian having left for Real Madrid, Blanc has stepped into the ex-Chelsea coach's shoes and says he expects a year of increased pressure due to last year's heroics.

"This is a new season beginning with some new players and a new coach," he said, when asked if it is difficult to start the season as the defending champions. "Everybody says that the minimum expectation is for us to be champions of France, so yes it adds extra pressure, but it makes sense. We have no right to make mistakes."

The former France boss, 47, has accepted that newly promoted Monaco is destined to challenge for the title but he was keen to reiterate that the likes of Olympique de Marseille and Olympique Lyonnais are a threat.

"The press are unanimous in saying that Monaco are probably the most serious candidate, with their quality recruitment, but we must not forget Marseille and Lyon.

"Plus, there's always an [underdog] who have a great campaign and who can meddle at the top, as we saw two years ago with Montpellier."

With Edinson Cavani, Marquinhos and Lucas Digne on board for over 110 million euros, Blanc believes that PSG has enormous potential and revealed that Cavani could make his debut on Friday.

"Our potential, with recruits, is inherently superior to last year," he added. "Cavani obviously brings added value.

"Marquinhos has great potential to be grown and advanced - he can add to his value in the future, like Digne. This is a team with a big, big potential and I must get the most of them.

"Cavani's preparation is under way. We will give another 24 hours before making a decision."