Yohan Cabaye has attributed France’s improvement since 2010 to coach Laurent Blanc.
Blanc, who took over at the helm of the French national side from Raymond Domenech following a dismal showing at the 2010 World Cup, has suffered just one defeat during his tenure, a 1-0 reverse to Belarus during his first match in charge but has since led his country to top in their Euro 2012 qualifying group and has remained undefeated for 21 games.
“He made us forget the last World Cup, which was a complete failure,” Cabaye told BBC Sport.
“He has instilled a group mentality and team spirit like you find in a club.”
Cabaye has underlined the importance of a good showing under Blanc at Euro 2012 to ensure that the hard work done to rebuild the national team does not go to waste.
“You can see the change on the pitch,” the Newcastle United midfielder said.
“We have been winning matches and qualified directly for the Euros. Now the greater challenge is to perform well during the competition and to go as far as possible. It is important to do ourselves justice and be positive.”
The former Lille star admitted he is not sure whether Les Bleus are better than England – their first opponents from Group D at Euro 2012 – but conceded that they hold a psychological advantage after their victory over the Three Lions in 2010.
“When we beat England at Wembley we were missing some players. But we won so we have a small psychological advantage,” Cabaye said.
“However, it was only a friendly. This is going to be a competitive game, so it is different. It is the first match and it is going to be very important. I hope we are going to play well and beat them, but I don’t know if we are better than them.”
France and England kick off their Group D clash on Monday.
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