Posted on Mar 23
New Auxerre coach Jean-Guy Wallemme, pictured here in 2010, says his side cannot afford to look behind them if they are to haul themselves off the foot of the Ligue 1 table and escape relegation from the French top flight.

New Auxerre coach Jean-Guy Wallemme says his side cannot afford to look behind them if they are to haul themselves off the foot of the Ligue 1 table and escape relegation from the French top flight.

Wallemme was drafted in earlier this week to replace Laurent Fournier, who paid with his job after a run of results that has seen Auxerre win just once -- against fifth-tier Chambly, in the French Cup -- since the turn of the year.

Having gone 11 games without a win in the league, Auxerre find themselves five points from safety ahead of Sunday's testing trip to fourth-placed Toulouse.

Wallemme admits he has been demanding with his players in training this week and says they cannot afford to dwell on the past if they are to prevent themselves from suffering relegation for the first time in the club's history.

"The club is experiencing a difficult moment and there's no time to lose," said Wallemme, who is also the coach of the Congolese national side.

"Every coach has his methods and principles. When you do this job, you have things in your head.

"Showing people confidence is important -- talking to people, giving everyone responsibilities, empowering everyone, regardless of their status or their names.

"What interests me is what we will do, and not what we've done, even though we have to keep doing certain things, and fix the things that have put us in danger."

Only promoted sides Dijon and Ajaccio (48) have conceded more than the 43 goals let in by Auxerre this season, but Wallemme says now is not the time for his players to retreat into their shells.

"We have to forget about (being in) 20th position and only think about the 10 games we have to play," he said.

"We have to be strong to compete. We have to improve our spirit, our play. I prefer playing high up the pitch, rather than sitting back.

"Playing with 11 men behind the ball, catenaccio-style, isn't really my thing."

Wallemme, 44, is taking charge of a Ligue 1 team for the first time since being dismissed by Lens mid-way through the 2010-11 season.