While Roberto Soldado’s Spain were without a game in last night’s round of World Cup qualifiers, closest rivals France travelled to Belarus having lost the advantage in the group following a disappointing 0-0 away draw with Georgia.

The French are almost guaranteed a second placed finish at worst but the side are desperate to avoid the play off route and prior to last night’s game, our own Hugo Lloris was demanding an improvement from his side.

“I am aware the results are not good”, Lloris told L’Equipe. “But we must not deviate from our goal.

“We must all work together to qualify. It is not always easy but we are hanging on. It will be hard but we must believe in ourselves to ignore what is being said and things will work as we hope.”

Moving on to the Belarus game and Hugo gave his nation a scare with two mistakes and the keeper was more than grateful to Franck Ribery who inspired the fightback that claimed a 4-2 victory.

“It was a tough night and I am primarily responsible,” Lloris said. “It is one of the hazards of the game but the team has risen to the top.

“Franck put us back on track and he made the difference.”

Over the years we’ve been used to some comedy keeping at the Lane but this was an uncharacteristic night for Hugo. As for France, there was no harm done and it’s likely that our number one will have got these out of the way ahead of this weekend’s home tie with Norwich.






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