Blanc calls on Bordeaux to 'erase' errors

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The Independent Football

The Bordeaux coach Laurent Blanc insists his side can recover from their string of recent setbacks to mount a final push for the Ligue 1 title over the closing weeks of the season.

The long-time leaders have dropped to fifth in the standings on the back of just one win in six, a run that has coincided with their elimination from the Champions League at the hands of Lyons and defeat in the final of the Coupe de la Ligue against Marseilles.

Tonight's encounter with relegation-threatened Le Mans presents an opportunity for Bordeaux to get their season back on track, with the reigning champions now six points behind leaders Marseilles, albeit with a game in hand.

Last weekend's 3-1 loss at the hands of Paris St Germain might well come to be looked on as the day the title slipped away when the season is done and dusted, but Blanc insists the defeat was not the result of a collective failing.

The 31st-minute dismissal of goalkeeper Ulrich Ramé for handling outside the box was the turning point at the Parc des Princes, and Blanc insists it is time for the individual errors to stop. "There is no shift [in performance], only a lack of results," said Blanc. "The team is focused on finishing the season as well as possible. It starts on Wednesday. There is the end of season to complete and things to correct. That is the job. We are not giving up. That is not part of my vocabulary.

"It is important to differentiate between performances and results. In Paris, it was individual errors that cost us. These must be erased."

Bordeaux will be without suspended Brazilian midfielder Fernando, while Rame is also banned after his dismissal at the weekend.

Abdoulaye Keita, so impressive after coming off the bench to replace Rame, could continue in goal against Le Mans with regular first-choice keeper Cédric Carrasso nursing a groin problem.

Second-bottom Le Mans are without a win in six and appear increasingly doomed to relegation. Their draw at home to Montpellier at the weekend ended a four-game winless streak, although they remain 13 points from safety with seven games remaining.

The hosts will be without suspended trio Herold Goulon, Joao Paulo and Gregory Cerdan.