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Sunday 10 December 2017

French kiss and make up as Spain lie in wait

FRANCE assistant coach Alain Boghossian insists the squad are united for tomorrow's Euro 2012 quarter-final against Spain after holding a late-night team meeting following their shock 2-0 defeat by Sweden.

Les Bleus surrendered top spot in Group D to England after seeing their 23-game unbeaten run ended on Tuesday, and head coach Laurent Blanc admitted things "kicked off a bit" afterwards in the dressing room.

But that was followed by a meeting of the squad and staff back at their Kiev hotel and Boghossian (pictured, right) is adamant the players are all pulling in the same direction.

He said: "After everyone had a cold shower and time to cool off we sat down together at the hotel and talked things through face to face.

"Everybody said what he needed to say. That was important because it's like with a couple in that if you don't talk to each other, things can build up.

"I'd have been much more worried if there had been no reaction at all.

"We should have beaten Sweden and won the group, but we didn't perform.

"That there are exchanges after such a defeat is totally normal. For me, that is wholly positive. The air has been cleared and everyone is happy and getting on well."

Outsiders

Boghossian, a World Cup winner with France in 1998, said France would be "outsiders" to win tomorrow's clash with world and European champions Spain.

But he added: "We will try to make some problems to this very good team, try to create some problems and find some weak points."

He is also confident striker Karim Benzema can break his scoring duck. The Real Madrid star failed to find the net in the three group matches.

Boghossian said: "Strikers want to score goals but he will try to make amends against Spain. He is a quality player."

Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny could earn a recall against Spain as Philippe Mexes is suspended after collecting his second yellow card of the tournament against Sweden.

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