Domenech defends France's underperformance

26th March 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, March 25, 2007 (AFP) - France coach Raymond Domenech on Sunday hit out at criticism of his side's unimpressive 1-0 win over Lituania in their Euro 2008 qualification match saying the circumstances were far from easy.

PARIS, March 25, 2007 (AFP) - France coach Raymond Domenech on Sunday hit out at criticism of his side's unimpressive 1-0 win over Lituania in their Euro 2008 qualification match saying the circumstances were far from easy.

Playing on a far-from-perfect pitch and with some notable players absent from the ranks including the injured Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira, Franck Ribery and Louis Saha, it took a 73rd-minute goal from Bolton's Nicolas Anelka to offer a reshuffled France team the valuable three points.

"The aim is to qualify for Euro 2008. We had to carve out a win over there (Lithuania), under difficult circumstances," said Domenech.

"This team is built to win. The opposition forced us to fight hard and we managed to get the upper hand of the battle physically and win."

Domenech was also full of praise for his controversial and fiery striker Anelka, who has played for eight clubs in eleven years.

"I have always got on well with him. I have never had any problems, neither with his game nor his behaviour.

"I can't comment about the past, but when he plays his top level during a match, and also scores, he fullfils everything we want of him," concluded the France handler.

France occupy second place in Group B on the same number of points as surprise group leaders Scotland and will play host to Austria on Wednesday in a friendly.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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