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Interview with Bordeaux coach Ricardo Gomes (

27 sep 2006 - Source:

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To the surprise of friend and foe, the Girondins de Bordeaux board announced in the summer of 2005 they had appointed Ricardo Gomes as their new head coach. The Brazilian was given the assignment to gain successes after two relatively poor seasons. Bordeaux had finished twelfth and fifteenth in the French table the previous two seasons, when Ricardo Gomes joined them. He exceeded all expectations and accomplished his mission on a high: Les Marine et Blanc finished runners-up to Olympique Lyonnais, but champions Lyon headed the table, fifteen points clear of Bordeaux. So Girondins FC returned to the UEFA Champions League after a seven-year absence. Bordeaux officials announced at the pre-match press conference that Ricardo Gomes had put pen to paper on a two-year contract extension in order to secure stability in the organisation.This season the Brazilian, who is always referred to as Ricardo by the French press, has enjoyed mixed fortunes. His team has not put in as many sparkling performances as last year yet. They suffered defeat in the French Ligue 1 top clashes. They were beaten 2-1 at home by Olympique Lyonnais, 3-0 on their travels by Lille and 2-1 by Olympique de Marseille, whereas they slipped to defeat only five times last season. Ricardo accounts for that: "The lads should attempt to play open games more regularly. We must obviously always be well-organised, but I feel we should take more risks when playing games of football." Bordeaux were eagerly awaiting the return to the European stage. The French team drew 0-0 with Galatasaray in Istanbul in a rather uneventful encounter on Matchday 1, while PSV also drew 0-0 at home to Liverpool FC a fortnight ago.Is Ricardo content with the draw in Turkey after all? "Actually I feel we could have won in Istanbul. We know Turkish teams will always be supported by a fanatic home crowd, which fills the opponents with awe, so Turkish clubs will often pull of good results at home. Yet they do not always put in convincing displays in the European campaigns. We succeeded in holding on comfortably, but unfortunately we failed to capitalise on our chances. We could have done better, but then again we could have worse as well. We will not be able to assess that goalless draw properly yet. We will first have to wait and see how both PSV and Liverpool will be doing in Turkey."Ricardo will now have to prepare his team for two Champions League home games in a row. Will he draw up a different game plan? "We’ll just have to do so", agrees Brazilian. "You need to go for all three points at each and very Champions League tie at home in order to reach the next round. And that’s our aim: progress to the knock-out stages! But this is a strong group and I think the competing sides are well-matched. The season has just started and we cannot properly assess the strengths of the other teams."Ricardo Gomes says Liverpool are favourites to win the group. "But PSV considerably strengthened their squad during the summer transfer window. I saw them in action twice and was impressed by some of their players. The Ecuadorian Mendez in particular was outstanding." The Brazilian coach feels PSV have even become stronger. "But so have we. We need to win this game, so we can travel to Liverpool with feelings of confidence."