Puel: Nice must improve

Last season's Ligue 1 surprise packets Nice are aiming to secure a second-straight top-four finish in the 2013-14 campaign.

After sacking Rene Marsiglia at the start of last season, new coach Claude Puel steered the team into the top four of the French top tier, securing a position in the UEFA Europa League play-off round.

But Puel has underlined how important it is for Nice to not just consolidate but build on that success this season.

"We showed a lot of good things last season; quality of play and results and the results were exceptional but now the counter is reset to zero," Puel said.

"We have the same philosophy and we have a lot of challenges with the new stadium, playing in the Europa League preliminary round, and playing in the championship with a new status, because nobody expected us to get to this position last season.

"It is not a question of staying where we are but getting better."

Nice chairman Jean-Pierre Riviere made it clear that the team did not have an on-field performance target this season, maintaining that it was more important for the club to continue its growth in general.

"Our main objective is to continue to make this club bigger," Riviere said.

"But we don't have an objective for a position in the championship or for a round in Coupe de France.

"The objective is make this club bigger everywhere and especially on the pitch."