Lloris: France have taken a slap

The 26-year-old believes les Bleus have the quality to overcome a 2-0 first leg deficit, and says the squad are determined to display their ability to qualify against the odds
Hugo Lloris says France have "taken a slap" but will do everything in their power to overturn a 2-0 first-leg loss to Ukraine and qualify for World Cup 2014.

The hosts have the difficult task of winning by two or more goals on Tuesday, while trying not to concede an all-important away goal, which would force les Bleus to win by at least three.

And despite the fact Ukraine have now gone eight matches without conceding, the Tottenham goalkeeper insists they remain confident ahead of Tuesday’s second leg.

“We stay calm because we believe,” he told reporters. “There is hope.

“We have a lot of quality and it also takes a vengeful state of mind.

“We took a slap, and when France’s backs are against the wall, we must confront the opposition.

“We will be ready to give everything we have.”

France will be without defender Laurent Koscielny who is suspended after picking up a red card in the first leg, but Lloris believes there is still plenty of quality in the team and it will be on display in Paris.

“We have many talented players and they will have to put in a collective effort. Tomorrow we will require everyone to be 200% for this achievement," the 26-year-old continued.

“There is a lot of motivation. We can say all we want about the match tomorrow, but we will have to show what we are able to play at our best from the start.

“But we must be mature and not lose focus on the main task. It will be a great opportunity to show that we are able to play as a team.

“There is not much change in the preparation. Our backs are against the wall, we are facing an obstacle and a handicap of two goals. The reality is that, and we will have to act as a team and show what we are capable of.

“As of now, everything remains to be done. The match is tomorrow, and it is not played in our heads, so we must not waste energy.”

Lloris went on to stress the importance of the game to himself and the rest of the squad, given how few opportunities players are afforded to participate in the tournament.

“The opportunity to play a World Cup comes only every four years. It is one of the more important matches I will play in my life. It is for me and for all players.

“We are aware of this and we talked. It is up to us to show that we really want to take this step, and we hope to do so together.”