Toulouse begin the decade in real danger of their first relegation since 2001. Denis Zanko’s time in charge starts with a home game against fellow strugglers Brest.

Bottom of the table, Toulouse come into 2020’s league action on the back of 10 consecutive defeats across all competitions, the worst run in the club’s top flight history. Midfielder Matthieu Dossevi conceded:  “We’re on a really bad run, of course we’re worried, of course we’re low on confidence!”

Antoine Kombouare’s 83-day spell in the dugout did little to improve the situation. 11 defeats from 13 games means his replacement Denis Zanko is faced with an uphill struggle both to settle the team, and its supporters.

Captain Max-Alain Gradel commented:  “Of course we understand, it’s not easy! These are people who pay to watch us play every week of the year! They are going through hard times because they want their club to do better! We want them to understand it’s not for lack of effort though!”

If Toulouse are to stand any chance of avoiding the drop, they need to plug their defensive holes. 39 goals conceded is the poorest record in the league at this stage, not surprising when you consider they’ve kept just two clean sheets. Dossevi said: “While we continue to make individual errors we won’t make any progress. We’re trying, we’re fighting but we can’t afford any slips in this situation. We’ve got a long way to go!”

Escapology hope

Yet there is still hope as Toulouse have become specialists in escapology in recent years. In four of the past five seasons the club from the pink city has managed to survive as late as the last to rounds of the season or in the promotion/relegation play-off.

Goalkeeper Baptiste Reynet sounded the battle cry: “Even if we’re going through hard times, we can’t let our heads drop. We have to look up, and grab the bull by the horns, we need to get a run of positive results now!”

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