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 Posted by ESPN Staff
May, 22, 2006

France coach Domenech wary of Switzerland

TIGNES, France, May 22 (Reuters) - France must be wary of Switzerland, their first opponents at the World Cup, coach Raymond Domenech said on Monday.

The French failed to beat the Swiss in their last two meetings and they clash again in their opening match in Group G in Stuttgart on June 13.

'I'm not really happy to have to take on the Swiss,' Domenech told a news conference at Tignes ski resort in the Alps. 'Everybody is worried about this match.

'We know them and they know us very well. They know what they will have to do to avoid defeat or even to beat us,' he said.

Koebi Kuhn's team finished second behind France in their World Cup qualifying group. The Swiss managed a goalless draw at the Stade de France before Les Bleus snatched a lucky 1-1 result in a tense return in Bern.

'I'm dreaming about July 9 (the day of the World Cup final) but the Swiss could turn out to be a nightmare for us,' Domenech said. 'For the time being, the most important match is the one against Switzerland.

'There will be time after that to set our minds on the tie against South Korea and the one against Togo. Nothing is going to be easy, believe me,' he said.

The France squad arrived at Tignes on Sunday with their families.

They are to spend five days in the tiny Alpine resort before returning to Paris for a warm-up against Mexico on Saturday.

'There will be two parts to our stay here,' Domenech said. 'The first one is about getting to know each other and learning to live with each other.

'The second part will be about some light training sessions but without the ball. We have not set our minds on football yet.

'It's important to get a peaceful atmosphere inside the squad. If you want to go far in an event like the World Cup, you need to abide by certain rules.

'You must learn to respect your team mates and the work they do. You have to be ready to back someone when you are his replacement,' he said. 'You have to feel happy and proud to be a member of the squad.'

Domenech added he had no concerns about the state of mind of his players.

'Everyone is feeling fine. We don't have any physical problems to report so far', he said.

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