Deschamps: “Very proud of what we have achieved”

The Blues victorious in Ireland this Monday evening (0-1), 3 days after having dominated the Netherlands at the Stade de France (4-0), Didier Deschamps did not hide his pleasure in front of the press.

Source assessment do you draw from this gathering?
Many positives, in terms of results already, with these five goals scored, none taken… (against the Netherlands and Ireland, editor’s note) The calendar was not a gift, today we were facing a team with more freshness, we were less radiant, less brilliant but we knew it would be difficult here, against an opponent who defended well. These are matches that you have to win, by the state of mind, the character, we kept this but in advance this evening and that’s very good. It’s a group that gives off a lot of strength, I’m very happy and very proud of what we achieved against these first two opponents.

Can we talk about resilience with regard to Benjamin Pavard?
We are not going to repeat the history, he had a complicated first match in the World Cup and Jules Koundé took over… He was the starter in previous years but Jules took the place. However, Benjamin was not dismissed; compared to what he does in his club, to his experience, I am happy for him. Despite his personal disappointment, he always kept the right spirit for the group. I didn’t make him play tonight for him to score but so much the better for him. No one is left out, all players can have tough times at some point.

Do you get any benefits from Randal Kolo Muani, first in the middle then on the side?
It’s positive for him, we were in a different configuration today with few spaces, but he gives solutions, with a lot of travel. He is in the continuity of what he does with us and his club. He is above all an axial striker but he does not mind playing on the side. He obviously takes up space by what he has achieved in these two games.

Are you surprised by the parade performed by Mike Maignan at the end of the match? Would you call it exceptional?
Yes, I agree with this term exceptional, but I am not surprised, no. I know what he is capable of doing, he has already been decisive with us, he has all the qualities and stature required for this position, he has the mind too, he is a leader. There was already this penalty against the Netherlands but there, there would have been more consequences if we had taken this but at the end of the match.

Summoned as a defender, Eduardo Camavinga finally played in midfield during this rally…
One does not prevent the other. He is above all a midfielder, but he has the ability to be good on the left too, with the guarantee. Tonight, I wanted to have this technical quality in the middle to get the team to play. There remains a good solution on the left. The game he had today is going in the right direction.

The Kylian Mbappé-Théo Hernandez tandem had more difficulty today…
The relationship between one and the other exists, and it is the best thing to do, technically in particular. The opponent defended well tonight, each game has its truth.

How did you find Olivier Giroud?
It was not an easy game for him. With these large Irish jigs, we lacked a bit of mobility; there were a few crosses but by their profile, with these 3 defenders involved, that’s all they like. It limited his influence in the attacking game.