5 September 2014 01:31
France manager Didier Deschamps insisted his side can still improve after they saw off Spain 1-0 in a friendly at the Stade de France on Thursday.
A strike from substitute Loic Remy in the 74th minute was enough to get the French over the line in what was an encouraging display in front of their home fans.
In their first game since their quarter-final exit at the hands of Germany in the World Cup, the French were largely untroubled by what was a new-look Spain side and Deschamps was glowing in his praise after the game.
“When the result is there it’s always good,” he said.
“We met a good team in Spain even if there are players who are not there. It was a good start and then in the second half we took over [the game].
“We created situations, we scored a valid goal [through Benzema that was ruled offside] then scored a goal after some good build-up play. We showed real quality.
“This is great to keep the mood of the whole group. This is a very good thing to revive the Stade de France and our fans. It’s a great night for us.”
The result vindicated Deschamps decision to stick with the bulk of his World Cup squad as they begin life without Franck Ribery, who missed football’s showpiece with a back injury and subsequently called time on his international career in August.
When asked to comment on his side’s dominant performance, Deschamps said the stability of the French squad was the key.
“It is in continuity with players who have been there for two years. Those who started were all in the World Cup squad,” he said.
“There is experience [in the squad]. It is not huge but this match, it counted.”
“I have a basic core of players and they are happy to return [when called up to the side].
France will now turn their attention to a clash against Serbia on Sunday as they look to build towards Euro 2016, a tournament they are set to host.
While refusing to look too far ahead, Deschamps did concede the signs are looking good as he looks to lead the national team to their first piece of silverware since winning the European championships in 2000.
“We are far from the Euros,” he said.
“But we had not beaten Spain in eight years up until tonight. We will not catch fire [but] we are building our game back with a quality team.
“This is not a trivial [result] either, and it should give more confidence. This enables the group to evolve. It’s still an improvement over the last meetings against Spain.”