Blanc: I want a sign

France coach Laurent Blanc said Tuesday he would be looking for "a strong sign" from his team that they have turned the page on a disastrous year during their midweek friendly against England at Wembley.

France have had a roller-coaster year following their poor 2010 FIFA World Cup™ campaign which was capped by a players' strike and an early exit.

 "A lot of you want to see what the France team can achieve against England. I'm in the same boat as you," said the French coach.

"There isn't the pressure for a result because it's not a competition game but it will be a prestige match. I prefer to assess the current season more than the year."

Blanc said that the England match was the highest-profile they have had since South Africa.

"It will be quality opposition, the best team that we've had to play since August," he said. "I want to receive a strong sign from the team, to see how they behave under such circumstances."

"Through the collective effort, individual performances will be analysed. The English are ranked above us in the FIFA standings, they are among the top ten European teams and measuring ourselves against them will be interesting."

"I thought that England had the ability to go further in the World Cup," said Blanc who also believes the French national team have progressed since he took over from Raymond Domenech.

"They've progressed collectively, notably in the defensive domain," he said. "For the past three matches, even if there are still things to sort our, we're satisfied. Other areas can be improved - the attack, the offensive game - we still don't have the efficiency that we should have."