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Houllier: "Settle an old score" (

20 Feb 2006 - Source:

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The pre-match press conference that Lyon head coach Gérard Houllier organized in a hotel in Eindhoven coincided with the media briefing that PSV boss Guus Hiddink attended. Houllier refused to use the phrase 'revenge'. 58-year-old Houllier responded in halfhearted fashion when he was asked by French journalists whether he had feelings of revenge. "I feel 'an opportunity to settle an old score and redress the balance' would be better phrases." But when a Dutch journalist repeated the same question, the Lyon head coach was inflamed with rage. "I watched the away game on TV at the time, with detached professionalism. If I had been in charge of Lyon on that night, I would have been furious, when Gomes committed that foul on Nilmar. Just suppose the referee would have waved away a PSV penalty appeal. I am quite sure they would have been upset just as much. Over the two matches last year Lyon should have won. But that is history; and I want to concentrate on the team of which I am in charge now."A journalist told him that the controversial incident is to be seen on the Lyon official website. Houllier shrugged his shoulders: "That's internet." Another reporter inquired after his match plan. '4-3-3 is a good concept for tomorrow night'. Houllier: "Do you want me to reveal my secrets? I am not going to divulge our tactical plans. Our opponent might benefit from that. I could explain to you, though, why I rested some of my players in previous games."Houllier was asked whether he anticipated a physical game. He replied by saying that it is no use predicting. "This is a UEFA Champions League clash between two of the sixteen best teams. Details are bound to be decisive. We have prepared well and we should see to it that all ends well.""Are Lyon a better side than they were last season? After all you put in a great performance against Real Madrid during the group stage phases". "I am not sure. We have three objectives: the French league, the Champions League and the French Cup. This is the month of February and we are still in contention on three fronts. But tomorrow night's game is a game in itself. There is cup fever and different laws apply. It will be a day of truth and we will have to pull off a fine performance. But I agree that we have made progress and we are quite anxious to show that tomorrow night", Houllier explained. Lyon forward Sidney Govou also briefly gave his views. "We are not in the same hotel as last year", said Govou. "But last year is history. This is another campaign and it is not right to compare games. We prepare like we do for any big game. We must try to score a goal. We have strengthened out attacking options with the signings of Fred and Carew as strike partners. It is important that each player will play according to expectations", explained Govou, who intimated he was glad that Young-Pyo Lee, who, according to Govou, kept coming down the wings all the time, is no longer in the service of PSV.