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Euro2016: West Ham ace Payet highlights importance of French defence

Dimitri Payet heaped praise on France's defence in the wake of their successful group stage showing.

Les Bleus drew 0-0 with Switzerland in Lille on Sunday to finish top of Group A having scored four goals and conceded just one in their three matches.

While Payet has been the star of the show in attack for France, it has been the overall defence of Didier Deschamps' side which has impressed the West Ham United playmaker.

"We've got a good defence and it's not just the back four. We've reached a new level in defence," he said on Monday.

"These defensive efforts weigh on our freshness, but I'd rather not concede a goal and score one in the 90th minute than concede two or three and have to go and score three or four.

"Because there is not a big gap between the teams, it's hard to score three or more goals."

France next take on the third-placed side of either Group C, D or E in the Round of 16 in Lyon on June 2016.

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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