Rotation the main positive for Deschamps after dull France draw

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Les Bleus cruised through to the knockout stages of World Cup 2018 after a forgettable, goalless draw against Denmark in Moscow on Tuesday

Didier Deschamps admitted there were "more negatives than positives" from his France side's dour draw with Denmark, but was pleased he could rest key players for the challenges that lie ahead.

With France having already qualified and the Danes requiring just a point to join them in the last 16, there was always the chance this game could be a non-event and so it proved, much to the displeasure of the Moscow crowd.

Deschamps made six changes, including leaving Paul Pogba, Corentin Tolisso and Blaise Matuidi – all of whom are on a booking, on the bench, and it led to a disjointed display.

He said: "There were positives even though there were more negatives. Against a very solid defence, we had a number of chances and if our ball rotation had been better, I don't know. 

"Having fresh players is important. I knew the round of 16 would be in Kazan in four days so it did have an influence on how I managed my players.

"I wanted to protect the three that had been booked, others were rested and others deserved to have their minutes. Some teams have not been able to get such rotation."

France claimed seven points from their three Group C games but their form remains patchy, although Deschamps said there were mitigating circumstances against a defensive Danish side.

"We have reached our goal, it was important to be top of the group," he added.

"It wasn't a very exciting match. One point was good enough for them and we didn't have to take risks to do better.

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"Our first match [against Australia] was not good enough, the second one was better, even if we defended too much in the second half against Peru.

"Today was due to the fact the team had a number of new players.

"Look at Argentina, one of the top contenders, they will have a very difficult match in two hours. Germany stayed in by the skin of their teeth. You can tell me there is room for improvement, but even for the top contenders, on paper, it's not easy."

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France will now meet the runners-up in Group D and Deschamps accepts it will become more difficult from here on in.

"We have a lot of ambition. It was difficult but we topped a challenging group and we got what we wanted," he said.

"We have reached our objectives, from now it will be more difficult, we will be humble but ambitious to try to get to the next stage."

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