Claude Makelele expects France to cope without their inspirational skipper Patrick Vieira.
The Internazionale midfielder is set to miss his country's Euro 2008 opener with Romania on Monday through injury, meaning that Makelele will now be expected to provide the steel in the middle of the park.
The Chelsea man is experienced enough to fill the void, and believes that whoever Raymond Domenech employs alongside him will be capable of stepping into the captain's boots.
Makelele is adamant that the French squad is as strong as it has ever been and feels that the man expected to be charged with replacing Vieira, Jeremy Toulalan, has the credentials to be a star in his own right.
"That (Vieira's absence) doesn't change anything for me," insisted Makelele.
"Toulalan and Patrick have different qualities. But we have been able to adapt in midfield during warm-up matches.
"We know what we have to do. The most important thing is to respect the French set-up.
"There is great complicity between Toulalan and myself. When I move up he sits in front of the defence. There's no problem.
"You adapt to your opponents. We are intelligent enough to read their game and make adjustments - it's up to the players to decide."
Vieira's absence in the build-up to the European Championship has allowed Domenech to experiment with a more attack-minded line-up, with Franck Ribery handed a free role behind the strikers.
Despite the potential that side has to dominate opponents, Makelele admits that the squad were relieved to see their skipper back in training last week.
"He is feeling better and better," he said.
"There are still two days to go before a decision is made.
"He is an important player for France and I hope he will be ready and able to bring his qualities to the table for this tournament.
"He has to limit the risks to himself and take the best decision for him and the French team."