Euro 2016: I perform better under pressure, says France's Olivier Giroud
French striker says he is relishing responsibility of leading the attack as hosts prepare to face Euro first-timers Albania in their second Group A tie today
Toulouse (France): Minnows Albania could feel the full force of Euro 2016 hosts France as confidence grows ahead of their Group A encounter in Marseille today, warned striker Olivier Giroud.
France forward Olivier Giroud (left) shares a light moment with teammate Andre Pierre Gignac during a training session in Clairefontaine-en-Yvelines yesterday. France will take on Albania in their second Group A clash today. The hosts beat Romania 2-1 in the opener. pic/AFP
Arsenal striker Giroud put any lingering doubts over his goalscoring form behind him after 57 minutes at the Stade de France on Friday to head the opening goal of the tournament.
Having begun their campaign nervously, the weight of expectation on Les Bleus was shed in the final minutes when Dimitri Payet’s stunning strike secured a precious 2-1 win over Romania.
“As the tournament progresses, I’m sure we’re going to get better and better,” said Giroud, who has welcomed the pressure of leading the hosts’ attack in the absence of Karim Benzema.
“I’m better when I’m under pressure. I don’t want to spend time answering my detractors. I’ve gained a lot of confidence in the France team.
I try to give it everything.” Giroud has now scored eight times in his last eight games for France. Albania suffered a 0-1 defeat to Switzerland.
While a France win will see the hosts secure their place in the last 16, and allow Deschamps to rotate players in their final group game against Switzerland on June 19.