Blanc unhappy despite Bordeaux run

PARIS - Girondins Bordeaux coach Laurent Blanc has demanded better from his players despite the team being six points clear in Ligue 1 and able to secure top spot at the halfway stage if they beat Lorient on Saturday.

The champions have also qualified in style for the knockout stages of the Champions League and have won their last six matches in all competitions without conceding a goal.

They have just won at Olympique Lyon and at fellow frontrunners Montpelier but still, Blanc is not satisfied.

"We didn't deserve to win," the 1998 world champion told reporters after his side struggled to win 1-0 at Montpellier on Wednesday.

"The way we played did not reflect our qualities and strength and some players looked below par. I expect better than that from my team."

Whatever Blanc says, things are looking good for Bordeaux, with title rivals such as Olympique Marseille or Lyon doing little to suggest they can stop the team from the wine capital from retaining their title.

Bordeaux defender Marc Planus said, however, that he was expecting a tough match against mid-table Lorient, who were unlucky to lose 2-1 to Marseille on Wednesday.

"We have to be fully focused," Planus told reporters. "I think it will be a very complicated game against Lorient, who play very well away from home."

Marseille, six points back in second, will visit once-great St Etienne, who have sacked coach Alain Perrin and replaced him with his assistant, Christophe Galtier, after a 3-0 defeat by Paris St Germain on Sunday.

St Etienne, who have won a record 10 titles and played a European Cup final in 1976, are third from bottom before hosting Marseille on Saturday.

"I love the team and we have quality," Galtier told a news conference. "The first thing to do is to get the confidence back."

Surprise package Montpellier, who made it back to the top flight this season after a long spell in the second division, were in third, seven points off the pace, before welcoming lowly Nancy on Saturday.