Saturday, July 13, 2024

´No second chances´ – Deschamps aiming for upturn in France fortune

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 30 Jun 2024

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Didier Deschamps has urged France to do better in front of goal, with “no second chances” left in Euro 2024 as they prepare for the knockout stages.

France were one of the pre-tournament favourites, but they have struggled to make any real impact so far, after finishing as surprise runners-up behind Austria in Group D.

After edging to a win over Ralf Rangnick’s side thanks to an own goal in their opener, Les Bleus were held to draws by the Netherlands and Poland.

While acknowledging their underwhelming results in the group stage, Deschamps was confident there would be a big improvement against Belgium in the round of 16.

“I’m doing my best to put a team forward that’s in the best position possible to give the opposition a run for their money and to be strong at the back,” Deschamps said.

“We’re in a new phase of the competition – a competition within a competition. There are no second chances now.

“The teams that have qualified are better than the ones that went home. It’s all about having that cutting edge in front of goal.

“If you want to win, you have to score – and that’s not been what we’ve been doing. That happens to the best of us and the best goalscorers.”

France exited Euro 2020 at this stage, being beaten by Switzerland on penalties after giving up a two-goal lead in the second half.

Deschamps is keen to avoid repeating history, but assured fans they were a key part of preparation for the tie.

“We have to prepare for penalty shoot-outs,” Deschamps added. “We have info about our opponents, and we also know who our own players are.

“But if you look at the last penalty shoot-out we did, there were seven changes between the players who were meant to take them and those who could. It’s not always the same people. But it’s my objective to make sure it doesn’t go to penalties.”

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