Deschamps focused on present, not the past
LATE SURGE: France coach Didier Deschamps is pleased with the last half hour when the introduction of Antoine Griezmann boosted them.
France coach Didier Deschamps is indifferent about his unbeaten World Cup record as a player and coach and is focusing only on getting his players ready for their quarter-final.
France's 2-0 win over Nigeria this morning (Singapore time) put them through to face Germany in the last eight and made it 10 unbeaten World Cup games Deschamps has been involved in.
"What I am interested in is the here and now," said the 45-year-old, who captained France to their 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 triumphs.
"We are among the last eight teams of the World Cup in Brazil.
"We have four days to rest and prepare for the game against Algeria or Germany."
Deschamps was delighted with his players against an athletic Nigeria side and the victory was sealed by a header from Man-of-the-Match Paul Pogba and an own-goal from Joseph Yobo.
Deschamps said he was particularly pleased with the last half an hour, when the introduction of forward Antoine Griezmann gave the French a bit more zip in attack.
"We had a very strong last half-an -hour with more dynamism and more speed," Deschamps said.
"We had space to create chances and we could have scored quite a few times.
"I tried to create some more speed by bringing on Griezmann and we tried to exploit the space with short passes and it worked."
The Basque-born coach defended striker Olivier Giroud, who toiled up front to little effect before making way for Griezmann in the 62nd minute.
"They are different types of players," Deschamps said. "Olivier was very useful as a support for (Karim) Benzema and there were some nice combinations up front.
"With his headers defensively and offensively, he (Giroud) was very important.
"What is most important is that the choices we made worked and we ended on a positive note.
"You have to remember that Nigeria played with four forwards but we stood up to them. Our midfielders kept the ball and that was very important."
France play their quarter-final against Germany in Rio de Janeiro on Friday.
The referee is a human being and is bound to make mistakes, but a lot of mistakes is questionable... On two occasions, Onazi received very bad tackles and nothing was done about it.
— Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi (above) voicing his displeasure with American referee Mark Geiger
When (refereeing decisions) go against you, it’s easier to talk about them. But you have to accept it. Could certain things have been sanctioned firmly? It depends on which side of the fence you are at.
— France coach Didier Deschamps on Keshi’s criticism of the referee