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Sunday, 29 November 2009 22:05

“Point not enough,” says Le Mans coach Duarte

Le Mans 1-1 Saint-Etienne

Despite watching his team come from a goal down at half time to earn a draw against relegation rivals Saint-Etienne, Le Mans coach Paulo Duarte insists his team should have taken more from the game.

Duarte’s side, containing Portuguese defender Joao Paulo Andrade, went into the match with Les Verts in 19th place in Ligue 1, five points behind their opponents, who themselves were just one place above the bottom three.

Le Mans also took to the field having lost their last four league matches, and that run looked in danger of continuing when they went into the break trailing to Ilan’s 18th-minute striker. However, the hosts rallied after the interval, and Anthony Le Tallec earned a point with an equaliser seventeen minutes from time.

“Our team has again demonstrated its quality, as well as character,” Duarte said after the match. “At half time, I told my players they had 45 minutes to change the history of MUC72. The story of the match is that Le Mans should win this game. A point is not enough. We created lots of opportunities, with at least four or five goalscoring chances in the second half. What is a positive is that we did not lose the match.”

The draw takes Le Mans up one place to 18th in the table, but Duarte’s men remain five points from safety and without a victory in seven league matches, stretching back to a late September win over Lens.

Related article: Contrasting fortunes for Portuguese coaches Sousa, Duarte

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