Girard: Montpellier on track in pre-season
Montpellier coach Rene Girard is satisfied with his team's pre-season progress as they prepare to face Lyon in the Trophee des Champions.
The annual curtain raiser between the previous campaign's Ligue 1 champions and Coupe de France winners, the 2012/13 edition of the contest is set to be staged at the Red Bull Arena, New Jersey, on Saturday.
Montpellier were surprise Ligue 1 title winners last term, beating big-spending Paris Saint-Germain to the league title.
And Girard is pleased with his squad's showing in the off-season to date.
"Our preparation is continuing, we started at the beginning of July and it is our fourth game now," he said.
"Everything is going well and we are getting stronger, the good thing is we haven't picked up any injuries which is always the danger. Everything is going pretty well.
"It is very good that we have been able to keep most of our players together.
"We have lost Olivier Giroud, who has gone to Arsenal, and Geoffrey Dernis to Brest and we have brought in some new players who are integrating very well and so we do have something of a new squad that want to experience something together.
"We have been working on the understanding between the players at training but this is ... a very positive period for the club."
Lyon meanwhile could only manage fourth in 2011/12, but their coach Remi Garde feels the team's Coupe de France success could prove significant as they seek to challenge for Ligue 1 crown.
"It is very important to win trophies, I sensed that last year winning the French Cup, it wasn't the league but it was still a very important step for us," he said.
"I put this game in a similar sort of category in terms of gaining momentum for the rest of the season and launching our campaign.
"It is only a match that will be played over 90 minutes but it is an extra thing that we can add to our list of honours."