France coach Didier Deschamps has backed Olivier Giroud to recover his form after falling out of favour at Arsenal.
Giroud is part of the French squad preparing for a friendly with Armenia on Thursday but is short of game time after losing his starting berth at club level to Theo Walcott.
It appears unlikely Giroud will win back his place any time soon – Arsenal having produced their best performance of the season without him to thump Manchester United 3-0 in the Premier League on Sunday.
“It’s hard for Olivier, this is a difficult time for him,” said Deschamps. “He was suspended in the UEFA Champions League with Arsenal and could not play the last game [against Olympiacos on Tuesday].
“He’s had less playing time. Inevitably, his confidence has fallen.
“His last match for us was against Serbia [2-1 win at Bordeaux last month] where he could have been more effective. He started two matches at the 2014 World Cup – he was important and he cannot lose it overnight, but confidence is important.
“The fact that he is there [in the squad], it is also to tell him that I trusted him.”
The friendly with Armenia takes place in Nice – an area of France that has been battered by extreme weather conditions in recent days.
Indeed, Nice’s Ligue 1 clash with Nantes at the weekend was suspended at half-time due to a waterlogged pitch, with the teams tied at 2-2.
When contacted on Tuesday, the French Football Federation offered reassurances the match would go ahead as planned, revealing the stadium and pitch were undamaged in the storms.
And Deschamps is looking forward to taking his team to the south of France once again.
“This will not be a first time,” he added. “Against Paraguay [a 1-1 draw in June 2014] we had a good atmosphere in a beautiful stadium.
“The Riviera is very pleasant. The public has the opportunity to have greater closeness with the players, to see them in real life and not on television.”
Lassana Diarra could make his first France appearance for more than five years after winning a recall to the squad.