Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

Henry’s hooray can wait

France skipper Thierry Henry headed back to Paris warning his team-mates their World Cup qualification mission is far from over.

Raymond Domenech's men hold a massive advantage.

However, 32-year-old Barcelona frontman Henry knows there is too far to go in the tie to take anything for granted.

He said: “I am happy, but it is kind of half and half. There is still 90 minutes to play in France, so I can only talk about that and being happy.

“We have got another game on Wednesday and this Irish team is a very good team. They showed they can score goals — fortunately for us, they didn't and we did.

“We got kind of a lucky goal, but in saying that, we played well in the second half.

“But there is still 90 minutes to go, so I can only answer that question properly over there.”

Manchester United full-back Patrice Evra too insisted that his side cannot yet start planning for next summer.

He said: “It was not easy. From free-kicks, Ireland are a difficult team to play against. They had never lost in qualification — this was their first defeat.

“They are a strong team and in the first half, we didn't play very well because we just played the long ball and Ireland like to play against the long ball.

“In the second half, we came back with another mentality and showed our quality. We played much better football and that's why we deserved to win the game.

“But it is just half-time. On Wednesday, we have a big game. Ireland will come to the Stade de France for a win and we need to be strong again and win that game. It's very important.

“Now it is only one game. France want to go the World Cup — I want to win on Wednesday and go to the World Cup.”

Evra also claimed he should have been awarded a penalty when brought down by Shay Given.

Evra said: “I am not happy because I think it was a penalty. If it was not a penalty, why didn't he give me a yellow card?

“In the end, it was a good game — but the referee missed a penalty.”

Evra added with a smile: “But it's not easy to give a penalty to another team when they are playing at home.”

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