France coach Raymond Domenech remains upbeat about France’s chances of topping their World Cup qualifying group, despite Saturday’s goalless draw with Ireland.

The result followed a goalless draw against Israel in their opening World Cup qualifier at home.

“As a whole, we showed a little bit more than against Israel,” said Domenech.

“For me, this brings some satisfaction – even though we should never be satisfied with a scoreless draw.

“The match in Cyprus on Wednesday will be very important. We must improve again.

“This match was quite well balanced. Ireland have very good players, and they played well and caused us problems.”

Meanwhile, captain Fabien Barthez said the squad was fully behind Domenech.

“We are all very united,” said Barthez, who captained the side in the absence of the suspended Patrick Vieira.

“This was a collective effort. This team has a lot of qualities, and that is extremely important for the rest of the competition.”

Arsenal midfielder Robert Pires says that it is too early to be panicking.

“According to me, there is no need to press the panic button,” said Pires.

“For us, only victory is important now. We do not care about style – we just want maximum points.

“We must remain concentrated on Wednesday against Cyprus. We have five points in the group, and all the other teams have five points. What more can we ask for?”