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Sep 3, 2010

Blanc bemoans lack of bite after Belarus defeat

Laurent Blanc was unhappy with France's lack of potency in front of goal as their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign started with a disappointing home defeat to Belarus.

Shorn of all-time record goalscorer Thierry Henry due to retirement and fellow striker Nicolas Anelka due to his acrimonious international exile, France were unable to break down Belarus in Paris and slumped to a 1-0 defeat.

Blanc, who suffered his second defeat in two games following a friendly loss to Norway in August, made no secret of the fact that he feels les Bleus must improve in front of goal.

"We lacked effectiveness in front of goal, and in football the most difficult thing is to score goals," Blanc told TF1.

"When you do not succeed [in scoring], we must ensure that we do defensively. On one of their rare forays, they scored. This is unfortunate because throughout the game we did not deserve to lose, but it is so.

"There is a match on Tuesday [in Bosnia], and we will prepare to earn points. We will come out of this downward spiral. But we must score and realise that in this France team, the top scorers are Florent Malouda and Louis Saha with four goals.

"In the production of the game I have some satisfaction, but we must conclude that by scoring."

France now visit Bosnia-Herzegovina on Tuesday in a tricky looking tie in Sarajevo. Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema may return from an ankle injury to boost Blanc's options up front.

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