After things 'kicked off a bit' following Sweden defeat, France clear the air

 

France assistant coach Alain Boghossian insists the squad are united for tomorrow's Euro 2012 quarter-final against Spain after holding a late-night team meeting following their shock 2-0 defeat by Sweden.

Les Bleus surrendered top spot in Group D to England after seeing their 23-game unbeaten run ended on Tuesday, and head coach Laurent Blanc admitted things "kicked off a bit" afterwards in the dressing room.

But that was followed by a meeting of the squad and staff back at their Kiev hotel and Boghossian is adamant the players are all pulling in the same direction.

He said: "After everyone had a cold shower and time to cool off we sat down together at the hotel and talked things through face to face.

"Everybody said what he needed to say. That was important because it's like with a couple in that if you don't talk to each other, things can build up.

"I'd have been much more worried if there had been no reaction at all and what happened after the game in the dressing room was normal.

"We should have beaten Sweden and won the group, but we didn't perform.

"That there are exchanges after such a defeat is totally normal. For me, that is wholly positive. The air has been cleared and everyone is happy and getting on well."

Boghossian, a World Cup winner with France in 1998, added: "It is true we are considered outsiders because Spain are champions of Europe and won the World Cup.

"But we will try to make some problems to this very good team, try to create some problems and find some weak points.

"Now it is a new start, a new beginning for our players, we will forget the negative result on Tuesday and open a new page.

"They are together, they laugh together but they don't want to repeat the performance against Sweden when they face Spain.

"During the training since the Sweden game we have given a lot of attention to our last match and how we can improve our game.

"We know the team of Spain is very strong and we have to prepare right and be right on our game for this match."

Boghossian is confident striker Karim Benzema will break his scoring duck.

The Real Madrid player failed to find the net in the three group matches, although he helped set up both goals in the 2-0 win over Ukraine.

Boghossian said: "He will try to show his best against Spain. They are strong but he will try to attack and show his quality.

"He has tried during all the matches to score goals and make goals.

"He did not manage to score and so was a little bit sad about it and a little frustrated.

"Strikers want to score goals but he will try to make amends against Spain. We know he is a quality player."

Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny could earn a recall against Spain as Philippe Mexes is suspended after collecting his second yellow card of the tournament against Sweden.

PA

Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
Arts and Entertainment
Ricardo by Edward Sutcliffe, 2014
artPortraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb go on display
News
newsHillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'