Didier Deschamps says Age Hareide’s criticism of France and Paul Pogba was not “particularly pleasant” but insists it will not add spice to Les Bleus’ clash with Denmark on Tuesday.
Speaking last month, Denmark boss Hareide criticised Pogba for “only thinking about his haircut” and also labelled Deschamps’ side as “nothing special”.
They were bold words given his side were due to meet the Euro 2016 runners-up in Moscow but Deschamps will not be using them to motivate his players.
He said: “Anyone can say whatever they want, and they are responsible for those words.
“It’s not particularly pleasant and my players know very well what the coach said – they can read, they can listen – but that’s not what will motivate them tomorrow.”
With wins against Australia and Peru under their belt, France have already qualified for the knockout phase.
Denmark need a point to be certain of joining them but Deschamps has no intention of doing them a favour.
“No, we are not going to give them a helping hand, the aim is to be top of the group,” he added.
“We can have two results to be first [a draw or a win] but I can never envisage saying to my players that we are playing for a draw. We are playing for a win.
“A draw may favour both teams but I want my team to do everything possible to win.”
Voici les images du début de séance de l’entraînement à huis clos où les Bleus continuent de préparer le dernier match de poule face au Danemark (mardi à 16h00) #FiersdeterBleus pic.twitter.com/pnFyxH6eeU
— Equipe de France (@equipedefrance) June 25, 2018
Despite that, Deschamps will rotate his side for the clash at the imposing Luzhniki Stadium.
Steve Mandanda is set to start in goal with Raphael Varane taking over the captain’s armband. Presnel Kimpembe will likely line up alongside Varane at the heart of the France defence.
Deschamps will speak to his assistants before deciding on other changes but he dismissed suggestions it was a risk to break France’s momentum.
“The main thing for me is to have a competitive team to reach the objective we have,” he said.
“I picked 23 players in my squad and I picked those 23 because I felt they could play a role, this is management.
“It’s not a risk, the players are here because they are able to start. We see all the data, through the training sessions, and we have the assessment of the medical staff, so that can also be a factor.
“They all deserve to play the round of 16 but I cannot play them all. I don’t want people to say if we finish second it will be better, no, no, our objective is to be first in the group.”
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!