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Garde issues Lyon battle cry

Lyon coach Remi Garde has challenged his players to bounce back from their Coupe de France exit when they host Ligue 1 bottom side Ajaccio on Sunday.

Lyon were upset by second-division Lens on Thursday and need an instant response if they are to remain in the hunt for a European place.

"I think the group was very disappointed on Thursday night," Garde told the club's official website.

"This match (on Sunday) will be crucial for our race towards the top of the table. Everyone knows that,

"We have to have self-esteem, bounce back. We cannot fail twice."

Lyon go into the weekend in sixth place, four points behind fourth-placed St Etienne.

Ajaccio's concerns are at the other end of the table.

The Corsicans are nine points adrift of safety after just two league wins all season, but the second of those came last time out at home to Rennes.

Indeed, they are unbeaten in their last three matches, a run which has moved them to within a point of second-bottom Sochaux.

And winger Salim Arrache insists the squad are still determined to pull off the great escape.

"When I see the experts saying Ajaccio are finished, I dream only of one thing, proving that we are not dead," he said on the club website.

"This is what we will strive to do with strength and conviction up to the 38th matchday. For our club, our personal pride and especially for our fans we want to recover."