No worries for excited Deschamps

06 September 2012 08:17

Didier Deschamps said he was excited by France's opening qualifier for the 2014 World Cup against Finland on Friday, stressing that he felt no pressure as the new coach.

Deschamps, installed after Laurent Blanc stepped down after the team's lame quarter-final exit to Spain at Euro 2012, warned that France faced a tough task having been drawn in five-team Group I.

Les Bleus were drawn alongside reigning world and European champions Spain, Georgia, Belarus and Finland, with only one automatic qualification place available for the finals in Brazil.

"We know it's tough, but we're not saying to ourselves 'We won't manage it'. We're not depending on others but are thinking about ourselves and taking the maximum number of points," said Deschamps.

"The goal is to be at the top, that's to say, in first place in the group and that starts with a result tomorrow."

Deschamps, who captained France to glory in the 1998 World Cup on home soil, added: "First of all, we'll try to qualify. I had a great time as a player. But now I've changed my job. I'm no longer a player.

"I must now take the players to the highest level possible, accompany them, create a climate of confidence and hopefully ensure that we have a team that collectively masters the most possible and progresses.

"But I'm not looking so far ahead. As for points, we can't lose many of them in a group of five, with Spain."

He added: "There's excitement, but no concerns or pressure.

"May the players be in their best form and achieve their maximum."

Source: AFP