France coach Roger Lemerre believes his team must win both of their remaining group matches if they are to have any hope of progressing to the second round.
“Now we can’t afford to slip in the next two games,’ said Lemerre. ‘Six points are at stake and we can’t even allow ourselves a draw.
“Nothing is ruined, there are two more games to play. If by chance we won those two matches, we’d be in the round of 16.
“I think every trainer would like to be in the position of (Senegalese coach) Bruno Metsu. He has three points.
“This is a tight group. Today we saw an excellent performance by Senegal.”
“They were well-organised with a five-man midfield. When a team are well-grouped together, you need speed and spontaneity,” he added.
“We were not able to cut through their defensive net. They had one counter-attack and they scored. That’s football but we would have liked a happier start.
“In this kind of match, when a team know what they have to do, it’s hard. They did not miss the target. “It’s hard on us but it’s up to us to deal better with that type of situation.
French defender Frank Leboeuf, who was left for dead in the move that led to Senegal’s goal, said the world champions had missed their injured playmaker Zinedine Zidane.
“We have run for miles for nothing,’ he said. ‘For the last 15 minutes, I’ve spent my time onlygoing back and forth. We needed Zizou (Zidane) to keep the ball.
“This a collective and not an individual defeat. Zidane can’tbe replaced and Youri (Djorkaeff) has done his best tonight. You mustn’t put the blame on one person.”
Zidane is suffering from a torn a thigh muscle and is not expected to return to the fray until the 3rd group match.
“We are really disappointed as we felt we were very close to something great,’ added Leboeuf. ‘The Senegalese have had only one chance and they have scored. On top of that it was a silly goal.
“It was very difficult to play tonight as the Senegalese refused to play. They’ve spent all the time with nine guys behind the ball and our strikers had very little room to express themselves.
“Now we have no choice but to notch two victories and to try to score as many goals as we can. I hope we beat Uruguay.”