France attempt to play down heated dressing-room reaction to Sweden defeat

 

France assistant coach Alain Boghossian has described the heated dressing-room reaction to Tuesday's defeat by Sweden as "normal" and revealed he expects a positive response in their Euro 2012 quarter-final with Spain.

Head coach Laurent Blanc admitted things "had kicked off a bit" in the immediate aftermath of the 2-0 loss which left France as runners-up in Group D behind England.

But Boghossian, a 1998 World Cup winner with France, insisted the players would be in the right frame of mind to tackle the world and defending champions in Donetsk on Saturday.

He said: "There were some changes in the mood of players after the last match. We did not play very well.

"There were discussions after the match between players, but it is normal to discuss the game and how they played.

"It is normal to discuss details, how they can improve their game.

"It is quite normal to have emotional discussions after a game. It is good that happens if they lose their matches to help improve their game going ahead.

"It is important to stay natural. If they are emotional, it is not a problem."

Boghossian added: "The most important thing is to discuss everything and understand each other and to say what is right and what is not very good.

"Now it is a new start, a new beginning for them, we will forget the negative result on Tuesday and turn over 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 Spain team 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 Euro 2012 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 do and so was a little bit sad about it and a little frustrated.

"Striker 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

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