Saturday 14 June 2008
Henry sure France will bounce back
Thierry Henry hopes to fire France into the last eight
France striker Thierry Henry said Friday's 4-1 humbling by the Netherlands was "difficult to accept" but insisted Les Bleus will pick themselves up before Tuesday's vital match against Italy.
Goals from Dirk Kuyt, Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben and Wesley Schneider inflicted the heaviest defeat on a French side in UEFA European Championship history, although the contest was closer than the scoreline suggests. Indeed, had Henry's 54th-minute lob over Edwin van der Sar dropped under the crossbar, France would have been level and back in the contest. It sailed over, however, and despite the FC Barcelona man later converting a Willy Sagnol cross, the Oranje ran out comfortable winners.
'A strange game'
With France's destiny now no longer in their hands, Henry was struggling to hide his disappointment. "It's difficult to accept," he told euro2008.com. "We didn't get the breaks. I missed a good opportunity, but then I put the next chance away to make it 2-1. At that point I really thought we'd come back. There were 20 minutes left and we felt the Dutch were vulnerable. It was a strange game because we had a lot of chances, but we were behind from an early stage and never managed to get back."
Fellow forward Sidney Govou was equally perplexed by the way the evening panned out. "It's difficult to say what went wrong," the Olympique Lyonnais man mused. "We feel really frustrated because we created a lot of chances and could have come back a number of times. They were more efficient than us in front of goals and they also got some breaks at important times. The score leaves us with a real headache, but overall the biggest regret is that we didn't covert more of our chances. We were a bit too indecisive when it mattered."
Raymond Domenech's side can still salvage their campaign with a victory over world champions Italy on Tuesday, providing Romania do not defeat the Dutch on the same night. Henry remains determined to keep fighting until the end, saying: "We have to give everything against Italy to make sure we aren't left with any regrets. We've beaten Italy before and we can do it again. If Romania win [against the Netherlands] then they'll deserve to go through, but we have to beat Italy before worrying about anything else."