Martin 'very happy' with France performance in England draw

Although Laurent Blanc’s side did not manage to open up their Euro 2012 campaign by posting three points, the playmaker is pleased that they're up and running in a positive fashion
 By Robin Bairner & Martin Langer
 Euro 2012 Correspondents

France playmaker Marvin Martin has told that he believes Les Bleus have started their Euro 2012 campaign positively, despite failing to break England’s resistance sufficiently to achieve anything better than a 1-1 draw on Monday evening in Donetsk.

Despite controlling much of the game, Laurent Blanc’s side fell behind when Joleon Lescott headed home a Steven Gerrard free kick, but Samir Nasri swiftly responded for France. Les Bleus struggled to fashion many clear-cut openings after the break, yet they looked the likelier side to score in sweltering conditions.

“I'm very happy with our performance,” Martin told “I think it's a good result. After being led 1-0, we reacted well and we managed to equalise. I think we monopolised the game and we also created quite a few chances, so we must be happy.”

The 24-year-old, who has registered more Ligue 1 assists than any other player over the course of the last four seasons, played down the effect the roasting conditions had on the result.

“It was very hot and obviously that conditioned the match for both teams, but it was the same for both teams,” he stated. “Sure, at the beginning it is difficult, but you grow accustomed to it.”

From a personal viewpoint, Martin was introduced towards the end of the match, and he was pleased to have been utilised.

“It’s the very big games everyone wants to play,” he said. “I’m happy to have come on against a very good team like England; it’s very encouraging.

“I am quite ambitious and of course I want to play as much as possible, but the most important thing is clearly the team.”

The Sochaux star, who has been strongly linked with a move to Lille this summer to replace Eden Hazard, believes that France can go far in the competition, though he acknowledges even qualifying from Group D will be no formality.

“Of course, I think we could get to the final,” he continued. “If we continue to play games like that, if we continue to use the ball well, why not? As stated by the coach, our goal is to get through the first round, but then anything is possible.

“There are no easy games. We know our two opponents well. Ukraine will be playing at home, and Sweden have a very solid defence.”

France meet the co-hosts on Friday before facing the Swedes, who lie bottom of the group after Monday night’s 2-1 defeat, the following Tuesday.