Lyon boss Pierre plays down his side's chances ahead of trip to Saints

Lyon boss Pierre Mignoni insists his side are not yet at the level of Saints ahead of Sunday's Champions Cup opener at Franklin's Gardens.

Wednesday, 13th November 2019, 7:00 am
Lyon boss Pierre Mignoni

And Mignoni says Lyon's goal is just 'to win a match and maybe two or three' in Pool 1 this season.

Lyon lost all six of their Champions Cup matches last season, failing to pick up a single point in a pool that contained Saracens, Glasgow Warriors and Cardiff Blues.

But Mignoni's men appear to be in a much better position to challenge this season, having won eight of their opening nine matches in the Top 14.

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Their only defeat came at Clermont Auvergne last month and they are currently five points clear of second and 14 ahead of third.

But Mignoni is refusing to get carried away as his side prepare to travel to Northampton.

“We took a lot of positive lessons (from last season's Champions Cup), despite the fact that the results were, of course, negative," Mignoni said.

“We’ve done significant work within the team so that we make progress this year.

"I hope we’re going to show that we’ve made progress. That’s the goal that we’ve set ourselves, anyway.

“I think we need to set a reasonable goal, but we want to be in this competition this season and, we hope, in the years to come.

“We’re building the team and we’re building our history. 

“We’re not yet at the level of Leinster or Northampton, who have played a lot of matches in this competition, like (Benetton) Treviso, so we’re trying to build on our past experiences, which are very recent. 

“As I said, we want to continue making progress and to win a match and maybe two or three – why not? And we want to try to do our best.”

Lyon appear to be full of belief heading into the battle with Saints.

But Mignoni said: “I don’t think that (impressive start in the Top 14) gives us more confidence. What gives us more confidence is that we know more about this competition.

“We know that last year we were taken a little bit by surprise in the first two matches, because it’s very different from the TOP 14. It’s a type of rugby that’s sometimes a little different.

“It’s a competition that goes very quickly.

"It will be difficult to qualify, but we’ll grow into this competition and we’ll see what that brings.”