Newly appointed Lyon coach Bruno Genesio stated that he now hopes to turn the club’s season around, with a European place the aim for the Frenchman during his six-month tenure in charge.
Jean-Michel Aulas, the Ligue 1 outfit’s president, confirmed the appointment on Sunday before proclaiming that Genesio was “part of OL’s DNA”. The 49-year-old has indeed spent over two decades in the Rhone-Alpes both as a player and a coach, having returned to the club he made 171 league appearances for in 2005, and was the favourite to succeed Hubert Fournier.
The former Nice loanee obtains the job with Lyon in a dire position. Having ran Paris Saint-Germain close to the title last campaign and tieing down a plethora of converted first team stars to new long-term contracts this summer, the club’s poor pre-season and damaging start to the season came as a shock despite a host of injury problems.
Fournier’s job never looked secure as the weeks wore on and a six-match winless run in Ligue 1, coupled alongside exit from all European competition, culminated in his sacking. Going into the winter break 25 points adrift of leaders PSG and in ninth position following defeat to an in-form GFC Ajaccio, the club are still just five points off a Champions League spot. To attain a top three finish appears to be the aim for Genesio during his time at the helm, as he stated in his first press conference:
“We’ll do all we can to achieve our objectives and return to European competition. We’ll take stock in the middle of May to see how the future is looking. But yes, I’m already looking ahead.”
Les Gones face rock-bottom Troyes, local rivals Saint-Etienne and Marseille in their next three Ligue 1 games when they return to domestic duties in January. Meanwhile, Genesio and his new side are located at a training camp in Marbella during the winter break in a bid to maintain fitness levels and regain team spirit. Genesio said: “I want to restore the kind of spirit that once made this club a very hard side to beat.
“I asked to have a two-and-a-half day training camp for two reasons: to work hard technically, tactically and athletically and also to rediscover the cohesion and rigour that we have been lacking of late. We will be looking to create a new dynamic, a team spirit that was perhaps missing in the first half of the season.”