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Sports

Jardim's Monaco face crunch trip to Saint Etienne

media Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim led his side to the 2017 French title. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

Further question marks will be placed over the future of Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim if his side fail to convince at Saint Etienne on Friday night. Since their opening day 3-1 win over Nantes on 11 August, last season's runners-up have not tasted victory in Ligue 1.

Monaco lie in 18th place with six points after seven games - unfamiliar territory for the man who led the squad to the 2017 French title and the semi-finals of the Champions League.

Despite the slump, the 44-year-old Portuguese national vowed to carry on and urged his players to show their resolve following their 1-0 loss at home to Angers on 25 September.

"I have been in charge for five years. I've signed a new contract and I'm not about to run away," he said. "I'm here and I'm going to give my best."

Star players leave

However Jardim has not been aided in that quest by the departure of more than 500 million euros-worth of talent over the past two years.

Shortly after freescoring their way to the championship, owner Dimitri Rybolovlev sanctioned the departures of Kylian Mbappé, Bernardo Silva, Benjamin Mendy and Tiemoué Bakayoko. Thomas Lemar and Fabinho left in the summer of 2018 for the parishes of Atletico Madrid and Liverpool respectively.

"It's a very difficult start to the season for many reasons: injuries, internationals, form, the pitch. But I'm not here to explain the reasons," said Jardim after the Angers defeat.

"I'm disappointed. The team didn't create, didn't play with the commitment and attitude required. There were also mistakes and misplaced passes. There was a little bit of team spirit, but we weren't dangerous."

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