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Last Updated: Friday, 16 June 2006, 19:34 GMT 20:34 UK
Michel devastated by Ivorian exit
Ivory Coast coach Henri Michel
Michel had high hopes for Ivory Coast before the tournament
Ivory Coast coach Henri Michel offered few excuses for his side's early exit from the World Cup after two defeats.

Argentina and Holland both had to be near their best to overcome the African nation, but Michel took little consolation from two brave displays.

"Everyone tells me this team plays great football," said the Frenchman. "What's more important is the result.

"We're out and that's the bottom line. It means that the Ivory Coast are still not at the level of the big teams."

The 57-year-old's outfit could not be criticised for their efforts after two impressive, if a little naive, displays in their 2-1 defeats.

The only thing we lack is experience

Henri Michel

In both matches, Michel's side had to fight back from two goals down but, in particular against Holland, only some desperate defending prevented them snatching a draw.

However, Michel admitted the Ivorians would have to wise up in future tournaments.

"The only thing we lack is experience," he said.

"Against countries like Argentina and the Netherlands, nothing is easy, but this is more than disappointing.

"We had a lot of hope going into this tournament."

The Ivory Coast will now round off their campaign against Serbia and Montenegro, with both sides playing for pride in Munich on 21 June.

Holland 2-1 Ivory Coast
16 Jun 06 |  World Cup 2006
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25 May 06 |  Schedule
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