Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud insists he has the “mental strength to bounce back” after being booed by France fans in Monday’s 2-1 victory over Serbia.
Gunners frontman Giroud was given a lone striking role by les Blues coach Didier Deschamps, with Karim Benzema left on the bench.
Unfortunately for the Arsenal striker, he failed to take advantage of the opportunity and missed a number of presentable chances. Both at half-time and when Giroud was substituted, he received whistles, jeers and boos.
A brace from PSG midfielder Blaise Matuidi gave France a 2-1 win, with Aleksandar Mitrovic scoring for Serbia.
However the headlines were taken by Giroud, who has scored one goal for club and country this season. Pressure is mounting on him at international level, with Alexandre Lacazette and Anthony Martial pushing for his place. At least he doesn’t have that kind of competition at club level.
Giroud defended his performance after the game, saying: “As a striker, what you got used to on a daily basis, it is to be applauded when you score goals. When the opposite happens, it’s difficult. Everybody got criticised one day.
“That’s not the first and surely not the last time it happens. I have the mental strength to bounce back. Now I am going to focus on working. I am everything but worried about that. I will bounce back.
“Tonight I miss some efficiency. It is like it is. I cannot focus too much on it. I have to think about the victory of the team and the good form we currently are experiencing.
“We did well against Portugal and it is great to confirm with a second victory for the confidence. Everything was not perfect but we play well especially during the first half.
“I am going first, to enjoy our victory and then obviously I will have to correct a few things,” Giroud added.
Deschamps understandably leapt to the defence of his striker after the victory.
“He also helped during the game [Giroud],” the French coach said.
“He got unlucky on a few chances because the goalkeeper made a great save. He got three clear opportunities. One was not on target, a header close from the goal-frame. Obviously if he had been more efficient the score would have been much higher.
“In his role he made a lot of effort. I always leave a lot of freedom to the three offensive players so he also had to counterbalance. Obviously he knows about it. He’s the first to be sad about his lack of efficiency. But it happens sometimes.”