West Ham United midfielder Dimitri Payet insists that Euro 2016 hosts France are difficult to beat when they are in full flow.
The Les Bleus defeated 10-man Republic of Ireland 2-1 victory in Lyon to earn a quarter-final berth.
“When we play our way we are difficult to stop,” Payet said to UEFA.
“Our fans were great – even though we were losing, they were still behind us. It is the worst thing that could have happened to go 1-0 down with a penalty early on. In the first half we got a bit annoyed and started playing their game.
“They tried to gain a bit of time and we wasted a lot of energy, but then we really started to play our game.”
Asked if he would prefer to meet England or Iceland in the quarter-finals, Payet said: “Honestly no – if Iceland win it will be because they are better than England. We saw Croatia go out too and there are no easy opponents. We need to do everything we can to get through.”
On his part, midfield engine room Blaise Matuidi felt France deserved to progress because of their second-half performance against Ireland.
“It wasn’t easy but we deserved the win,” said the Paris Saint-Germain midfielder. “It was much better [in the second half] and I think we did what we needed to do.
“We got some opportunities in the second half and did everything we needed to do to score.
“I think the whole team was playing better and that helped us win the game. Personally in the second half I think I played better – when everybody does a little more, the team does better.
“In the first half we didn’t make it easy for ourselves.”
The quarter final game against England or Iceland will be played at the Stade de France in seven days.