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Last Updated: Saturday, 7 October 2006, 18:41 GMT 19:41 UK
Smith revels in greatest triumph
Walter Smith
Smith saw Scotland hold on for a famous victory
Manager Walter Smith was delighted to see Scotland defeat France and stay top of their Euro 2008 qualifying group.

"It's a tremendous result and certainly the best I've ever had as a manager," Smith told BBC Radio Scotland.

"We were under tremendous pressure in the first-half and they had one or two chances. But we got stuck in, defended stoutly and got a bit of luck.

"We want to remain competitive throughout the qualifying campaign and this is a great start."

Scotland have won all three of their matches and are now three points clear of World Cup finalists France.

The visitors started the game brightly but Scotland turned in a solid defensive performance and won the game when Gary Caldwell shot home from a corner after 67 minutes.

"We knew France would have a lot of possession and territorially they had us pinned back.

"But in the second half we improved our passing and they didn't create many clear chances.

"It's a fantastic win and a great reward for all the hard work that all the players put in."

Scotland travel to face Ukraine on Wednesday and, while striker Kenny Miller returns from suspension, Smith will be without Christian Dailly.

The West Ham defender picked up a second yellow card of the campaign for time-wasting and is banned from playing in Kiev.

We've made amazing progress in the last two years

Barry Ferguson
Scotland captain

"It's a disappointment (to lose Dailly), but the team will be along the same lines," added Smith.

Barry Ferguson returned to captain Scotland and the Rangers midfielder is looking forward to the next game.

"Ukraine is a difficult place to go but we'll travel with confidence high," Ferguson told BBC Radio Scotland.

"We've made amazing progress in the last two years and everyone worked their socks off against one of the best teams in the world.

"France had a lot possession but we played some lovely stuff in the second half."

French manager Raymond Domenech was upset with the surprise defeat and thought his team lacked a fighting spirit.

He said: "We had players on the field who try and go forward and we had people on the wings to try and beat them with speed but we were not fast enough to do that.

"I am a little bit disappointed to have lost the game as we could have been better but the defeat shows us where we need to improve.

"We need to have more energy and we need to be more aggressive.

"Being able to play well is not enough, we have to play to win and we need to have more combative qualities."



SEE ALSO
Scotland 1-0 France
07 Oct 06 |  Internationals
Fans hail 'magnificent' victory
07 Oct 06 |  Internationals
International photos
07 Oct 06 |  Football


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