By Neil Maidment
SALVADOR, Brazil, June 20 (Reuters) - France coach Didier Deschamps said his side were showing the grit and determination he and his team mates had when they swept to World Cup victory in 1998 after they demolished Switzerland 5-2 on Friday.
France are now virtually assured of qualification from Group E after a superb attacking display at the Fonte Nova arena gave them a 3-0 first-half lead in a rampant performance that left them with maximum points from two games.
"It is the same thing that we saw in 1998, while we cannot compare each changing room, I have a very focused group at present, they have a mindset that they want to maintain, even those who play less, there is a force that is rising," Deschamps told reporters.
"(While) this is not a guarantee of success, in addition to our qualities this mindset is very important."
Deschamps was keen to laud a quick-fire first-half display that put France firmly in the driving seat in the match.
"To be able to reach halftime with a 3-0 score really helps a lot, at 2-0 the other team can still turn things around but 3-0 is an important difference," he said.
"It was a great day for us, 75 minutes 5-0, the Swiss team were very good but we really put a lot of pressure in the midfield and I think our attacks were very quick and that was not at all good for the Swiss."
With Giroud's strength and Benzema's direct running too much for the Swiss, the scoreline could have been more.
"There is an enormous satisfaction with the result... Deschamps said. "We are competitive, we were able to show this today, it was a good test... My impression now is very positive. In five days time we have a new battle."
France lost central defender Mamadou Sakho after 66 minutes to a thigh injury and Deschamps said his fitness would be assessed on Saturday. (Editing by Ed Osmond)
- Sports & Recreation
- Didier Deschamps