Sunday, 3 September 2017

Löw: "Mats had a superb game", 02.09.2017

World Cup holders Germany kept up their flawless World Cup qualification record in Prague. After the 2-1 win against Czech Republic, Germany head coach Joachim Löw spoke on the game as, despite the victory, Joachim saw a few things which he wasn’t pleased about.

Question: Joachim Löw, how happy are you with the 2-1 victory in Prague?

Joachim Löw: The result was great. Our main aim was to get three points and that’s what we did. We have to be honest though and today we needed a lot of luck and Mats Hummels’ aerial prowess to win today. The Czechs defended well but we didn’t play how we wanted to in the final third.

Question: As a World Cup winner returning to the squad, did Hummels show tonight what it takes to be the very best?

Löw: Mats Hummels and other members of the squad who went to the World Cup in Rio have to be role models for the more recent additions to the squad. That’s part of their job. Mats had a superb game. Not only because of his goal but he dealt with a lot of the questions being asked of the defence last night. I reckon he won every second ball and it was great to see.

Question: What exactly do you think went wrong?

Löw: It seemed like we had a lot of the ball but didn’t create many clear cut chances with it. Because of our lack of ruthlessness, we left ourselves exposed at the back and open to Czech Republic counter attacks. In most of the World Cup qualifiers, the key is to get the ball forward and make our way towards the goal. When we do that like we did at the beginning of the game, we ran the Czech Republic to death but we couldn’t keep it up.

Question: Do you take part of the blame for the issues during the match as you lined up with only one holding midfielder and two strikers?

Löw: I lined-up the side as I did for a reason. I wanted to play with two strikers and two number 10s as I knew that the Czech Republic would sit deep and play on the break. We wanted to get at them a bit more in the midfield and we didn’t get in behind the Czech lines which was a problem we all had to deal with aside from Timo Werner who was the only one to get at the Czech Republic defence.

Question: Are you planning on playing an extra holding midfielder against Norway?

Löw: We have to be on the front foot against Norway. When we play with three in midfield, we’re completely reliant on the midfield to get the ball moving towards goal. I’m not sure if we necessarily need two holding midfielders. Two holding midfielders mean you don’t get forward as much against what will be a defensive Norway side.

Question: Will the line-up change at all for the next game?

Löw: In Stuttgart, there’ll certainly be a few changes or two. I planned that before we played tonight’s match as I think it’s a difficult task for players who aren’t totally in sync with each other to play two 90 minute games in three days. Our great performance so far allows other players to get their chance.

2 September 2017
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