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Deschamps gives backing to ´honest´ Pogba

France boss Didier Deschamps says he believes in Paul Pogba’s honesty after the midfielder apologised for causing controversy after the win over Albania.

The Juventus star was pictured appearing to make a ‘bras d’honneur’ motion in the direction of the media section at Stade Velodrome at the end of the 2-0 victory on Wednesday.

Pogba, who has been criticised for his performances at Euro 2016 so far, issued an apology in which he insisted there was no malicious intent behind his gesture.

And Deschamps says he has every faith in the 23-year-old’s integrity after a private discussion between the two.

The head coach told a news conference in Lille: “He has explained himself and I believe in his honesty. What’s most important is what he told me.”

France captain Hugo Lloris had earlier given his backing to Pogba and Antoine Griezmann – who were dropped from the starting line-up against Albania – and expects them to produce their best form at key moments.

“As I said before Albania, it’s only natural that there are expectations, they have big statuses in the games and they had good seasons,” the goalkeeper said. “Griezmann went to the Champions League final with Atletico Madrid.

“I think the players wait for the big moments. Griezmann made the difference against Albania with his goal and Pogba was much better, he was aggressive and imposed himself.

“It’s a long competition – we’ll need them at one point or another.”

France meet Switzerland at Stade Pierre-Mauroy on Sunday, knowing that a draw will be enough to guarantee top spot in Group A ahead of Vladimir Petkovic’s side.

Deschamps expects a more open, attacking match after two frustrating games against Romania and Albania, but is wary of the quality Switzerland boast going forward.

“Playing an ultra-defensive side is very difficult,” he said. “Switzerland try to play which might mean we have a more open game. But it’s not easier to play them because they have a lot of ability, especially in their forward line.

“At least we’ll have two teams who try to play the game.”

Sat 18 Jun, 2016
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