Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Joachim Löw: "Pure excitement and drama", 21.06.2014

Germany’s national team endured a rollercoaster of emotions in their second group match against Ghana, first taking the lead and then falling behind before eventually scoring an equaliser to end the match 2-2. National team coach Joachim Löw reviewed the hotly contested encounter in Fortaleza with

Question: How satisfied are you with a point against Ghana?

Joachim Löw: I’m actually very satisfied, as we showed fantastic morale after falling 2-1 behind in such challenging temperatures and had a few more good chances in the final stages against a strong and technically adept team.

Question: How do you rate your team’s position ahead of the final group match against the USA?

Löw: Our position hasn’t changed dramatically. We know we’ve still got a good chance of reaching the next round with a win or even with a point depending on what happens elsewhere.

Question: Your team seemed relatively cautious in the first half, but they were much more lively after half-time. Was that planned?

Löw: No, we didn’t plan it that way, it was just the way the game unfolded. We wanted to stay tight and play disciplined football in the first half while also taking better advantage of counterattacking opportunities. We knew it would be impossible to play at a high tempo over 90 minutes in this weather. We also relied on the counterattack at first because we knew Ghana had to win the match, but we weren’t finishing very well. In the second half the match reached a crazy tempo and became an open exchange with plenty of chances for both sides. It was pure excitement and drama.

Question: Jerome Boateng was substituted at half-time, and Thomas Müller had to come off just before the final whistle. Will both players be fit for the USA match on Thursday?

Löw: I assume so. Thomas Müller suffered a cut above his eyebrow, but I don’t think it’s too bad. Jerome Boateng took a blow to the hip and then the muscle gave out. I hope we brought him off early enough and that the muscle isn’t too badly damaged.

Question: After Miroslav Klose’s goal, will you be reassessing the striker’s role ahead of the next game against the USA?

Löw: It’s not too important for me whether we play a traditional striker or a false nine – that’s not the big issue. What’s important is that we score goals. Both Mario Götze and Miro scored against Ghana, and both are very flexible in their play. There’s no longer any such thing as a static centre-forward.

Question: What’s your view on Miroslav Klose’s 15th World Cup goal?

Löw: I’m incredibly happy for him; it’s another highlight in his unparalleled career. It’s all the better when you consider that last season wasn’t particularly easy for him. Once again, he has managed to get himself in top form for a major tournament. For a coach it’s always great to have such options available.

Question: As well as Miroslav Klose, you also brought on Bastian Schweinsteiger in the closing stages. Were you pleased with your substitutes’ performances?

Löw: After just two minutes, Klose’s goal proved how much class he has and how incredibly valuable he is to us, and Bastian was similarly impressive for 20 minutes. I wanted the two substitutions to give us fresh momentum, and it worked extremely well.

Question: On Thursday you will once again meet up with your former boss Jürgen Klinsmann. How would you describe your relationship with the USA coach?

Löw: We get on very well and that’s how it’ll always be, but of course we haven’t had any contact recently. That’s normal before a tournament like this when you know you’ll be competing against one another.

21 June 2014
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