Joachim Löw on...
… the line-up against Cameroon: I’m planning for Toni Rüdiger to return to the team. I had planned that before the game, because Cameroon have unbelievably fast players. Those are Toni Rüdiger’s strengths as well, with his physicality and pace he can offer protection. Emre Can went over on his ankle in training, it doesn’t seem to be anything major, but he had to pull out of training. We won’t be playing with the same team as against Chile. I will introduce a new player or two to the team. They absolutely deserve that. But I can’t alter the team too much, you can’t go changing seven or eight positions. You need to have a core. Three, four, maybe even five changes are reasonable – seven or eight is a bit too many.
… the expectations of the Cameroon game: We are not in the semi-final yet, no one can afford to see this as a formality. The most important thing is to perform like we did in the first two games. Cameroon have nothing to lose, they can only progress in the tournament if they win. Tomorrow will be the most intense and most physically demanding game. No other team at the tournament loves a fifty-fifty challenge like Cameroon. If you look at how quickly they turn defence into attack and how fast their attacking players are. You rarely see a team that has this mixture of endurance and intense pace.
… preparations ahead of the Cameroon game: The gap between the two games is very, very short. We only held a short training session this morning. The situation is clear: every team can theoretically still go through – even the two sides who only have one point on the board so far. Our aim is to build on a great performance and important point against Chile and secure our place in the semi-final. That’s the priority, our position in the group is irrelevant. First place or second place is immaterial. If we reach the semi-final, I will be completely satisfied. That is more than would necessarily be expected.
… The energy within the team: The travelling has had quite an impact. We flew to Kasan at night, that wasn’t exactly relaxing. Against Chile, I got the impression that the players were in a position to keep up with the pace of the game. I think bringing in the odd fresh player here and there will do us a lot of good. A few of the players will be given a break. That makes sense. Against Australia the pressure levels were especially high, with it being the opening game. Chile were tactically very demanding and played some intense football.
...the performance of his team: I've said once or twice before that ther places have good capabilities and are technically at a very high level. We've focused on three or four weaknesses because less is sometimes more. We also focused a lot on the offensive side of our game in the days leading up to San Marino and Denmark and practised our build-up play. We had a look in training at where we could improve and concentrated on where we were running to and following our passes. Before the Chile match the focus was on organisation and defensive structure. They're are things that you need against Chile. The team implemented those things very well.
...a possible switch in goal: I don't know yet. I need to talk to Andy Köpke about that. We had planned that every goalkeeper would get a game, but now we need to re-consider. It's not yet decided whether we'll continue to rotate or stick with the same man.
... a potential semi-final opponent: I don't care who the opponent is. I'll watch both games. I would like to face Russia as the hosts. That would be good for the atmosphere and also looking ahead to the World Cup. A semi-final against the hosts is always attractive. But first we need to take the next step which is against Cameroon. Then once we've done that, we'll see how we're going to prepare for the next opponent.
Leon Goretzka on...
... the game against Cameroon: Cameroon are physically very, very strong. We'll try not to take too many touches so as not to give Cameroon a chance in the duels. I think we'll have more ball possession than we had against Chile. The aim is to create chances and to score goals. I'm looking forward to this challenge. It won't be easy, but we'll be concentrating and will try to get a good result.
... potentially winning the group: You go into the group hoping to win it. That's the ideal scenario. But the main aim is to reach the semi-final and we'll give everything to try to do that. If we win the group then we'll have one more day for recovery and that's an advantage because you're fresher for the next game. You avoid a day of travelling, which is good because that's not good for the recovery process.
... his own performance: You don't prove yourself at this level in just one match. I'm not the sort of player who scores two goals in every match. Everyone should be aware of that. I'm trying to be more dangerous in front of goal. I played well against Chile, perhaps with a little less action in the final third, but that was my job.
24 June 2017
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