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Friday is all that counts: Didier

Ribeirao Preto: France coach Didier Deschamps sought to temper growing expectations generated by his team’s impressive run to the World Cup quarter finals. Les Bleus defeated Nigeria 2-0 in Monday’s Round of 16 game in Brasilia to set up a quarter final meeting with Germany on Friday.

The member of the 1998 World Cup-winning side was keeping his feet firmly on the ground back at his squad’s Brazil headquarters, here. “I’m a realist, my target, like my players, is Friday,” he said.

Deschamps, 45, added: “It doesn’t serve any purpose to look any further ahead.

“The reality now is Germany on Friday. Everyone can dream, including me, but I’m a pragmatist and a realist… Friday is all that counts.”

Deschamps, who succeeded fellow World Cupper and Euro 2000 winner Laurent Blanc as coach after Euro 2012, rejected the notion that France were favourites against Germany, but at the same time made it clear his team was not going to the Maracana “as tourists.”

“We’re going there to give it everything we’ve got.” Reflecting on France’s progress through to the last eight after topping their group, he stated: “We haven’t made a mess of our World Cup. “I’m very proud and the players deserve it. It’s a huge pleasure for me and my staff to be involved on a daily basis with them, to manage and be alongside them.

“But we’re not going there as tourists on Friday.”

Deschamps will make sure that his team does the necessary homework before taking on the mighty Germans in the quarter final tie.

“Germany are used to playing at this high level and they have experience of this level of competition.

“We know the German side well. We’re going to do everything we can to inform the players about the German side on both general and an individual level. I’m going to try to limit our nerves as much as possible as I want us to attack.

“The German side definitely has more experience though,” he elaborated.