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Malouda: France has trouble handling pressure

sports Updated: Jun 15, 2010 22:18 IST

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Florent Malouda says France's players are having trouble dealing with the weight of expectation surrounding them and some are not coping well with the criticism they have been getting at the World Cup.

France is regularly knocked by its fans, criticized by former players and even lambasted by its own politicians, and Malouda says that "some players have trouble with stories coming out" and are unable to relax on the field.

Malouda says "even if we're shut away, it touches the players a bit and it can affect the way they play."

Malouda accepts that France did not play well when it drew 0-0 with Uruguay in its opening match, and says there must be a significant improvement against Mexico on Thursday in Polokwane.