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Malbranque blasts Lyon

last updated Wednesday 01st August 2001, 7:43 AM
Steed Malbranque
Steed Malbranque
Fulham signing Steed Malbranque blasted back on Tuesday at Lyon general manager Bernard Lacombe, who has accused him of selfishness over his decision to leave the Stade Gerland on the eve of the French season.

"To say I've been selfish is complete nonsense," Malbranque fumed. "Lyon have known my point of view for a long time and they are the ones who have held up the transfer."

Fulham have been frustrated in their bid to complete the formalities of the France Under-21 star's £5 million move on Monday, just two days after Lyon began their Championnat campaign with a 2-0 defeat at Lens.

"It would all have been sorted out a lot quicker if they hadn't dragged their feet," added Malbranque, who will now sign a five-year contract with the Premiership club later this week.

The row began on Saturday, when Lacombe said: "Personally I'm very disappointed. We were really counting on him. He would have played much more this year. It's a real shame to have this happen on the eve of the new season."

A lack of first-team opportunities was Malbranque's major reason for quitting Lyon and, despite Lacombe's words, he is not convinced that he would have been a regular this season.

"I've heard that I'd have got more football this season if I'd stayed, but I've heard it all before," he said.

Now Malbranque is keen to put the issue behind him and looking forward to life at his new club. "I've confidence in myself," he said. "Lots of spaces open up during English matches and I reckon I can take great advantage.

"Although I favour a Latin style of play, I believe I can impose myself in the Premiership. There are plenty of other French players here already and they are enjoying success."

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