Blanc: French must be patient
© AFP

France coach Laurent Blanc has played down expectations of his side ahead of UEFA EURO 2012, insisting that Les Bleus cannot hope to compete with the continent's leading nations.

Blanc took over as coach in the summer of last year in the wake of France's difficult FIFA World Cup™ campaign in South Africa.

He has since restored a degree of confidence among fans in the national team, guiding them to EURO 2012 as winners of qualifying Group D following a 15-match unbeaten run.

However, the 45-year-old told L'Equipe that there is no point getting carried away with France's prospects of success in Poland and Ukraine.

We need to be more consistent. Certain nations can afford to do without three or four key players, not us.
Laurent Blanc, France coach

"After what happened in June 2010, we said that we needed to rediscover a bit of humility. Let's not look too far ahead. We are not going to the Euros to do anything. Let's just wait and see what the draw brings," he said.

"Progress has not been as quick as we hoped. But we have come a long way, a very long way. We need to be more consistent. Certain nations can afford to do without three or four key players, not us.

"People need to try to analyse things a little more closely. They want us to put together a team of great players in 15 months and play at the same level as the Netherlands, Germany and Spain. That is impossible!

"A quality team that plays good football is not something you can buy at the supermarket. There are still things we need to improve, but the objective for us was to qualify for the Euros, and we have done that."