The French players must resist falling into the trap of becoming arrogant otherwise it will present enormous problems for their FIFA World Cup™ campaign, midfielder Yohan Cabaye said on Saturday.
Experienced defender Bacary Sagna and midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin both claimed that not winning the FIFA World Cup would be regarded as a failure after they topped their group.
However, Cabaye said such assumptions were counter-productive. "We have come a long way considering we almost didn't make it to Brazil, so we should not get ahead of ourselves," said Cabaye, who earned a move to French champions Paris Saint-Germain from Newcastle United in the January transfer window.
"The fact we showed our quality in the group stage obviously should make us more confident but not arrogant, otherwise we are going to have major problems."
Cabaye, who could return to the starting line-up for the Round of 16 match with Nigeria on Monday after serving a one-game suspension, said France must treat the African champions with respect otherwise they risk going home.
We have come a long way considering we almost didn't make it to Brazil, so we should not get ahead of ourselves
"We are bidding to progress on Monday and go as far as possible but we must do that with the same mentality, determination and quality we have shown so far," he said. "We are going to play a very good team and if we lose we must accept that. There is little use in putting extra pressure on ourselves and adding weight on our expectations.
"It is good to be ambitious but winning the World Cup is not easy as one can see by the good teams that have already been eliminated. I respect Nigeria, though we can beat them, but to say we are going to win the World Cup one has to be careful. There is still a long way to go."