Racing Club de Lens

Last Match
Ligue 2

Round 14

Racing Club de Lens 1 - 0 Lorient
2019-11-02 14:00 More Reports
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Ligue 2

Round 14

2019-11-11 19:45 More Previews
Ligue 2
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2019/2020

Racing Club de Lens

In


Yannick Cahuzac (mid), Steven Fortes (def) and Clement Michelin (def) from Toulouse FC; Gaetan Robail (mid) from Paris Saint-Germain; Thomas Vincensini (gk) and Tony Mauricio (mid) from Valenciennes FC; Florian Sotoca (att) from Grenoble Foot 38; Manuel Perez (mid) from Clermont Foot; Vitor Costa (def) on loan from Inter de Lages (BRA)

Out


Jean-Ricner Bellegarde (r) (mid) to RC Strasbourg Alsace; Modibo Sagnan (sp) (def) to Real Sociedad (ESP); Enzo Ebosse (def) to Le Mans; Fabien Centonze (r) (def) to FC Metz; Jeremy Vachoux (sp) (gk) to US Orleans; Thierry Ambrose (r) (att) to Manchester City (ENG) - loan ended; Maxence Carlier (mid) and Valentin Belon (sp) (gk) on loan to Stade Lavallois

Great underachievers Lens are gearing up for a fifth consecutive season outside the top flight after falling short of promotion in the play-off final last time around. Les Sang et Or only scraped into the play-offs at the end of last season by finishing fifth, but they promptly edged out Paris FC and Troyes before losing out to Dijon for a spot in Ligue 1. Philippe Montanier's team must now build again for a renewed crack at a return to the elite, something they feel is their rightful place. After all, Lens are unique at this level for regularly being able to bring in more than 30,000 fans to their Stade Bollaert-Delelis. But misisng out on promotion means it is harder for them to keep their best players, especially the young talents coming through their renowned academy. Defender Modibo Sagnan has already joined Real Sociedad in Spain, while midfielder Jean-Ricner Bellegarde has stepped up to Ligue 1 with Strasbourg and Fabien Centonze has done likewise with Metz. Thierry Ambrose has returned to parent club Manchester City too. Meanwhile, the club have been busy adding players with experience of playing at this level, like midfielder Manuel Perez from Clermont and forward Florian Sotoca from Grenoble. "We are playing for a big club and we need to be consistent," said Sotoca. "Last year we had an excellent defensive foundation. With the other signings we have made, our job is to strengthen the attack. I am convinced we can do that." Gaetan Robail, outstanding on loan at Valenciennes last season from Paris Saint-Germain, is a very promising signing in midfield, while the veteran Yannick Cahuzac adds bite as well as experience in that area of the park as he arrives from Toulouse.

Target


Promotion

Season Review
2018/2019

№5: Racing Club de Lens

The campaign ended in agony for Lens, as they came so close to winning promotion in the play-offs before falling short. They had won on penalties away to Paris FC and then triumphed in extra time at Troyes, despite playing most of that game with 10 men. That set up a two-legged tie against Dijon for a place in Ligue 1 next season. Philippe Montanier's side took the lead in the first leg at home before being held to a 1-1 draw, but then conceded twice in the last 20 minutes in the return to lose 3-1 and be left staring at Ligue 2 football once again. Lens will be in the second tier for the fifth year running next season, and for the ninth season out of 12. That is far too long for a club whose average attendance of more than 26,000 was higher than that of all bar five clubs in Ligue 1. However, after only coming fifth in the league, perhaps they did not really deserve to go up. And yet things started so well. Montanier was brought in after a disastrous 2017-18 season, and after 11 matches this time Lens were second, with eight wins, two draws and just one defeat, away at leaders Metz. Nevertheless, they won only one of their subsequent nine matches. Momentum had gone. In the form table from late October to the end of April, over a period of 24 matches, Lens were 14th. In the end they sneaked into the last play-off place by winning their last three league games, finishing above Lorient on goal difference. They were strong at home, scoring five goals in wins over Gazelec Ajaccio and Orleans, and four against Niort. But they were not quite good enough away, and won only two of 10 matches against other members of the top six. Jean-Louis Leca was an excellent signing in goal, although he missed the Dijon tie due to suspension, while Cheick Doucoure was an exciting discovery in midfield. Thierry Ambrose goes back to Manchester City after doing well on loan, but Yannick Gomis was the star, the Senegalese striker joining from Orleans and scoring 17 goals between the regular season and the play-offs.


Player of the Season: Yannick Gomis

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