Lennon: We wanted Lewandowski
Thu, 25 Apr 2013 16:20:00
Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda believes his - and his team's - recent run of form is the perfect answer to their critics.
Mandanda has kept six successive clean sheets to help his side put together a seven-match unbeaten run in Ligue 1, leaving them second in the table behind rivals Paris St Germain.
Having had to contend with questions over his mental and physical condition earlier in the campaign, Mandanda feels he has been vindicated.
He told the club's official website: "The only response of any worth is the one we showed on the pitch, putting together a run of good performances.
"I am happy to have responded this way but it is simply the result of the work I did with Lolo (Spinosi, goalkeeping coach). We have always worked hard and now it is paying off.
"I was not at my best for a few weeks, that's true, but I did not deserve that criticism - especially in that way.
"People talked about my weight, my mental state, anything, but I can say clearly: I have the same weight, the same mind, I train the same, all that has changed is I have been more successful."
Despite their miserly run in defence, Marseille have won only three of those last six games - each by a single goal - and trail PSG by nine points.
But Mandanda said: "At this point in the season, it is not about your style of play but your effectiveness.
"I can understand that the public are not taking great pleasure in watching us play but the most important thing for us is to finish in the top three."
The Rugby Park outfit have been linked with the Saints number one as they seek to strengthen the position ahead of next season.
Inverness' Antonio Reguero is close to finalising a pre-contract agreement that will see the Spaniard join Killie on a two-year deal.
Shiels is keen to find another goalkeeper but says Mannus is not one of the names on his wanted list and that he is not preparing to make a swoop.
He said: "Definitely not, that wasn't mentioned.
"I think he's a great goalkeeper and I always did think that. But people have just plucked that out of the air because he's from Northern Ireland.
"There have been no approaches made for the goalkeeper. I didn't even know he was out of contract."
With Cammy Bell set for a move to Rangers and Kyle Letheren released last week, Shiels is keen to bolster the goalkeeping position.
He added: "Yes we will be looking at that. I've got a few irons in the fire so to speak."
On Reguero's deal, he said: "It's almost there."
Celtic were interested in the Pole, who hit all of Dortmund's goals in their 4-1 semi-final first-leg win over Real Madrid last night, but could not prevent his move to Germany in summer 2010 for a fee of around ?4million.
Lennon, who took over as Celtic manager in March 2010, said: "I actually knew about Lewandowksi when he was at Lech Poznan. He might cost a few quid more now than he did then.
"We did look at him, two or three years ago, but we were never really in the hunt for him in terms of competition from other clubs. But we knew about him for a long time."