Germany defender Benedikt Höwedes believes Wednesday's 2-1 friendly defeat by France in Bremen could prove a blessing in disguise if it "helps dampen expectations a little bit" ahead of UEFA EURO 2012. There is no danger of confidence falling in the French camp after Les Bleus extended their unbeaten run to 18 matches, although midfielder Alou Diarra was not reading too much into the win, saying: "Tournament football is always different."
Marco Reus, Germany forward
We're disappointed because we let in two goals and scored only one. We had a lot of opportunities and we should have equalised or even gone in front before half-time. But we couldn't put the ball away. I was happy to make my first start but I didn't think too much about that because I was focused on the match. I'm like everyone who played today: I want to stake my claim for a place in the team. I want to go to the EURO and to play. We were missing some important people – players who have been excellent through the years – but it's not an excuse. We are all internationals and we all have quality.
Benedikt Höwedes, Germany defender
There are several reasons for this defeat. We had problems getting into dangerous positions in attack and we didn't defend very well either, especially in the second half. France are very good and they showed their quality but we know we weren't at our best. There is no doubt about the quality of our team.
Expectations in Germany are extremely high in light of our recent results. So maybe it is not such a bad thing to suffer this setback now. It might help dampen expectations a little bit. But our aim is still to try to go all the way at the EURO.
Yohan Cabaye, France midfielder
We really wanted to do well here. We wanted to show an excellent spirit and to compete with one of the best teams in Europe – or even the world. It was important for us to show we're up to the task. The fact we won is great for confidence. Now we have to finish the season with our clubs and make sure we keep the spirit we showed tonight. We know we have a great goalkeeper and he showed his quality again. It's logical that Hugo Lloris is our captain. He's been in the team for a long time and his experience is important. Everyone respects him. It's a very good decision from the coach to appoint him captain.
Alou Diarra, France midfielder
Winning in Germany is a great achievement. We turned in a great performance against a big footballing nation.
This experience is important. It proves we are capable of performing in the big games. We're on a very good run but we know that competition football is different. It's great [to have gone 19 games unbeaten] but it doesn't mean we should now be considered one of the favourites. Germany will be strong at the EURO – we know that because they have a superb team and some great players. We just have to keep working hard and prepare ourselves as well as possible.
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