France coach Raymond Domenech has been forced to backtrack following comments he made at the weekend about the importance of Thierry Henry to the French team.

Domenech was quoted in a French newspaper on Sunday as saying that Henry was not an essential member of the national team.

But Domenech has clarified his remarks, claiming that he did not intend to suggest that Henry was not an important memer of the squad.

“My idea was simply to say that either everyone is essential or no-one is,” Domenech told L’Equipe.

“That is what I wanted to express.

“I don’t like to feel forced in to saying a player is essential because I think that word has no meaning in a team. That is why I refused that word.

“However, Thierry Henry is inescapable. His attacking qualities make him a key player of the French team, a lynchpin to build the team around.

“He can change a match at any time and at any level. That is why he is inescapable.”