Swiss football clubs who have made it through to the third round of the UEFA Cup do not usually have to issue statements in support of their manager. But that was exactly what Lausanne Sports decided to do on Tuesday.
At a press conference supposedly looking ahead to Thursday's European clash with French Cup winners Nantes, Lausanne's director general Claude Robin tried to play down rumours that the side's disappointing league form had caused a rift between the boardroom and the coach.
"Following a meeting on Monday we are handing out a communiqué from the board and technical staff confirming that Pierre-André Schürmann will remain in sole charge until at least the end of this season."
Despite their European successes, Lausanne have struggled in the Swiss league in recent weeks, taking just two points from their last eight matches. Schürmann himself chose not to respond to claims that he had fallen out with club chairman Waldemar Kita, insisting that his own position was clear.
"For my part, I have never had to take any decision in this matter. My contract with Lausanne runs until 2002," he said.
Turning his thoughts to Thursday's match, Schürmann expressed confidence in his players' ability to continue their European adventure, which has already seen Lausanne dump Torpedo Moscow and Dutch giants Ajax out of the competition.
"In Nantes the team will burst with passion," he exclaimed. "They will rediscover the emotions of their recent European games."
The coach added that French national pride could also play a part in Lausanne's mental preparations. "Three of our players are French and Javier Mazzoni is a former Nantes player, so I think those four will be particularly motivated."
Whatever the size of his other worries, Schürmann has few injury concerns going into Thursday's match. Replacement goalkeeper Pascal Zetzmann and defender Stéphane Gobet are the only players unavailable.
swissinfo with agencies
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