Deschamps hopes for happy camp
Didier Deschamps is eager to avoid a repeat of 2010, with the importance of 'unity' emphasised in the France camp.
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As they prepare to embark on another World Cup campaign, the ghosts of four years ago in South Africa continue to haunt Les Bleus.
The 1998 champions bowed out in disgrace, with Nicolas Anelka sent home following a training ground bust-up with coach Raymond Domenech and senior figures such as Patrice Evra leading a player revolt.
Current boss Deschamps is aware that the episode will never be forgotten, but hopes mistakes of the past can provide important lessons heading forward – with harmony having returned to the ranks.He said ahead of an opening contest against Honduras on Sunday: “No-one will ever be able to blot out what happened in 2010. That’s going to be part of our history, but you have to stop looking at the past.
“The most important thing is to have a spirit of unity and a winning mentality.
“We’ll have spent several weeks together between the start of our preparations and the end of the tournament. The squad dynamic and the mentality of the players will be essential. That’s not what wins you matches, but I don’t think you can get results without that either.
“What’s important is this World Cup, and then Euro 2016 in France.
“Our team must always be ambitious and aim to be as competitive as possible. We’ll go to Brazil with the desire to progress as far as possible.”
France required a play-off to book their place in Brazil, overcoming Ukraine 3-2 in a two-legged contest, but Deschamps believes they will produce their best when it matters most – even without the services of injured duo Franck Ribery and Clement Grenier.
He added on qualification: “It was tough. We made a mess of the away game but were able to turn it around at home.
“Ultimately, it’s a huge satisfaction to have reached our goal and to have shared such powerful emotions with our supporters.
“When things are tough, French athletes tend to pull out great performances, but when they’re favourites they have trouble living up to expectations.
“First and foremost, at this World Cup it’s all about collective effort.”