Girard slams fixture pile-up after draw with Saint-Etienne

The 58-year-old has slammed the fact that his side had to play two games inside three days and praised his charges for their continued efforts
Montpellier coach Rene Girard has defended the performances of his side after their 1-1 draw with Saint-Etienne on Friday.

The reigning Ligue 1 champions were beaten by Arsenal in the Champions League on Tuesday and were back in action three days later, with their poor league form continuing.

"We fought with what we had, and I am happy with my men," Girard told L'Equipe.

"There was a physical and mental backlash from playing so many games.

"It was not right to play 24 hours before Paris Saint-Germain did the same [against Dinamo Kiev]. We were not playing a ramshackle outfit from Kiev, we were playing Arsenal, one of Europe's best teams.

"People may laugh because we say that we had less recovery time, but I am outraged. Like it or not though, it's like that."

The result leaves Montpellier in 16th position in Ligue 1, with a tally of just five points from their opening six matches.