Monday, 9 October 2017

Löw: "We can't rule any players out yet", 09.10.2017

Ten games, 30 points – Germany have qualified for the 2018 World Cup in impeccable style. Joachim Löw’s men rounded off the perfect campaign with a 5-1 win over Azerbaijan. We spoke to the DFB-Team manager about the difficult start in Kaiserslautern, the potential role as World Cup favourites and the growing competition within the squad.

Question: A 5-1 win against Azerbaijan to round off the qualifying campaign. What are your thoughts on the game?

Joachim Löw: First of all, I’d like to say a big well done to all the players who featured in our qualifying campaign. Ten wins from ten games prove that the team constantly kept up the desire and concentration. That cannot be taken for granted.

Question: You can’t be pleased with the first half against Azerbaijan, though. What was the problem then?

Löw: It was a tough start. We haven’t played with this set-up before, and that was noticeable to begin with. There were a lot of technical mistakes made as well. We had a lot of young players on the pitch who need a bit more time. The second half was good. We started playing the way we needed to, and the goals came thick and fast.

Question: Do you now go to the World Cup as favourites?

Löw: You’d be mistaken in seeing this qualifying campaign as a benchmark. Sure, it was good, it was a top performance. But the opponents at the World Cup finals will be of a completely different calibre. So we shouldn’t get carried away. The players need to prepare in a way that will mean they are ready and in top form this summer.

Question: The next four fixtures are against top teams. Will you be experimenting with players or is it time for the first team to settle?

Löw: We’ll have to look at the situation in November. Tournament preparations begin in May. I will be trying out the odd thing, but we’ve got a strong foundation to build on.

Question: You used a total of 37 players in qualification, not even including Marco Reus. Will your World Cup squad be made up of these players or is the door still open for other players?

Löw: The door is open. It’s still several months away. We will be watching individual performances very closely. There is no reason to write any players off yet. Löw: Süle has some muscle problems; the substitution was a precaution. It looked a bit worse for Mustafi. He seems to have torn his muscle fibre.

8 October 2017
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