World Cup 2014: Morgan Schneiderlin reveals England players felt 'the pressure', but France want succumb to the same problems

Les Bleus have impressed at the tournament so far

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The Independent Football

Morgan Schneiderlin says that England’s Southampton players acknowledged they felt “the pressure” during this World Cup, but that a young France team have exactly the coach in Didier Deschamps to avoid a similar situation.

Schneiderlin made his tournament debut in France’s 0-0 draw with Ecuador on Wednesday night in the Maracana, which marked some step up from the days spent in League One with Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana.

“I spoke with some of them,” Schneiderlin admitted. “Of course they are very disappointed but it’s football. They know they had a lot of pressure on them and they didn’t perform. It’s life.

“They have young players and I’m sure in Euro 2016 there will be another team with them.”

By contrast, Schneiderlin believes Deschamps’ experience of winning the World Cup as a player in 1998 will reinforce France’s upbeat mood.

“It’s just amazing spirit in the squad. We are all working very hard, we all like each other. I’m not saying it to say it, I’m saying it because it’s true. In the past we had problems but today we are together and like being with the squad every day.

“If we don’t believe we can win the World Cup, we need to stop now. Of course, we need to think we can win. We know it’s going to be tough and we take each game as the final, and then we see. I know in 1998 when they won the World Cup, it was against Croatia, against Paraguay, it’s just a small margin that takes them through. We have the best man in charge to explain what it’s like.

“He’s [Deschamps] got the experience and he’s going to give us a lot of advice,” Schneiderlin added.


Meanwhile, Bacary Sagna believes Deschamps has helped eradicate a previous “arrogance” in the camp. The new Manchester City full-back gave a knowing smile when asked whether the atmosphere was now different for France.

“I think we have had a good start after what happened four years ago. It is good now because we are starting from the bottom and that’s good for the team because we were a bit too confident in the past, a bit too arrogant and now we have a quality team.”

Sagna’s comments about his decision to move to City because he “needed a new challenge” attracted attention yesterday, but he also claimed he is relishing a contest for the right-back spot with new team-mate Pablo Zabaleta.

“No, it motivated me even more because this is football. Everyone is fighting to play. I want to have a good friendship, a big friendship with him, I won’t fight with him, we will have to play together, we will have to bring this team up. I will just need to give the maximum just as I always did at Arsenal.”

Sagna also praised Yaya Touré as the best midfielder in the world, and hopes his recent controversy with City can be resolved. “To me, Yaya is actually the best midfield player in the world. He is such a great player, he brings a lot of qualities to Man City. Of course I would be delighted to play with him.”