Deschamps unruffled by France's boo brigade

15 August 2012 11:47

Didier Deschamps said he would not allow dissent from France's fans to intrude upon his memories of his first match in charge of the national team, after their 0-0 draw with Uruguay on Wednesday.

Deschamps' debut in the France dug-out coincided with the fourth consecutive goalless draw between the two countries and although France twice hit the post, the final whistle prompted an outbreak of jeers at Le Havre's Stade Oceane.

"That's not what I'll take from this match," said Deschamps, whose side open their 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign in Finland on September 7.

"There are always expectations from the fans. And August friendly matches are complicated. It's a while since we won one.

"The desire was there but when the result isn't, there's always a chance (the supporters) will protest, because they want to see France win. But so do I, and so do the players."

Two years on from their traumatic group-stage exit at the 2010 World Cup, France find themselves rebuilding once again after falling to eventual champions Spain in the quarter-finals at Euro 2012.

Although there was nothing to compare with the all-out mutiny that befell the World Cup campaign, the behaviour of certain players in Ukraine yielded sharp rebukes from the French media.

Deschamps gave debuts to three players against Uruguay but despite the side's new look, the fans' reaction at the final whistle suggests they will not be quick to forget recent disappointments.

To their credit, France had taken the game to the visitors, with debutant Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa hitting the post with a first-half header and Karim Benzema rattling an upright at the other end with an emphatic second-half volley.

The hosts largely controlled possession against the South American champions and Deschamps said there were positives to take from the game.

"There are always disappointments when you don't win," said Deschamps, who replaced his former France team-mate Laurent Blanc as coach.

"But even if we didn't exactly out-class Uruguay, we had a lot more opportunities. I think we had twice as many shots.

"Apart from the result -- and you know that I'm never happy when I don't win -- it was largely satisfying."

Wednesday's match marked Deschamps' first involvement with the national team since he made the last of his 103 international appearances as a player in a 1-1 friendly draw with England in September 2000.

Having been overlooked for the France job when he applied to succeed Raymond Domenech in 2008, only for the incumbent to hold on to his position, Deschamps confessed that his return had been an emotional occasion.

"Singing 'La Marseillaise' again next to the pitch makes me feel young again," said the former Marseille coach.

"It gave me a lot of emotion and pride. The players are obviously the principal actors, but I'm happy to be here to help us try to reach our objectives."

Uruguay have avoided defeat in their opening five World Cup qualifying matches and coach Oscar Tabarez said their solidity against the French augured well for the forthcoming trip to Colombia on September 7.

"We defended well," he said. "That will be essential for the match in Barranquilla. We just have to attack with more efficiency. We will also have more players available."

Source: AFP

World Cup Group G

Belgium 1 0 0 3 3
England 1 0 0 1 3
Tunisa 0 0 1 -1 0
Panama 0 0 1 -3 0
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