Thursday, 3 July 2014

Löw: "We'll be well prepared", 01.07.2014

Germany have reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup in Brazil. After his side's 2-1 extra-time win against Algeria, national coach Joachim Löw spoke to about the last-16 thriller, his team's performance and upcoming opponents France.

Question: How do you feel after that last-16 thriller against Algeria?

Joachim Löw: After a game like that, you first have to stop and take a deep breath. Ultimately, it was a victory for willpower. Of course, I'm glad we have made it into the next round.

Question: Why did Germany have so much difficulty facing Algeria?

Löw: We struggled in the first half and lost a lot of possession, but we were the better team in the second half and in extra time. We had plenty of chances, but their goalkeeper excelled himself and put in an outstanding performance. He thoroughly deserved to be named 'Man of the Match'.

Question: But you can't be satisfied with your team's performance…

Löw: I'm not happy with our inability to convert chances, with our efficiency. We know we can play better than that, but when you play badly, you don't create any good opportunities. You can't play fantastically in every match. Today we weren't fantastic, but we won, and that's very important if you want to go far in this competition. Other teams like Brazil have also struggled and only managed to progress to the next round with their last penalty kick.

Question: After Shkodran Mustafi's injury, you moved Philipp Lahm back to right-back and placed Sami Khedira beside Bastian Schweinsteiger. Does this suddenly give you another option for the rest of the tournament?

Löw: Flexibility is one of our strengths. Today we used fresh players who helped the team, like Khedira and Schürrle. Now we've got to give the players one or two days of rest, then we'll think about our options. My personal decisions will also depend on Schweinsteiger and Khedira's fitness, as neither has been able to play a full 90 minutes yet.

Question: Why did Mustafi and Schweinsteiger have to be substituted?

Löw: Unfortunately, Mustafi suffered a thigh injury and won't be able to take any further part in this tournament. Bastian had cramp, but it's not that serious.

Question: What's your verdict on Manuel Neuer's performance?

Löw: He performed exceptionally well. His reading of the game was incredible. He acted like a sweeper and defused a lot of precarious situations whenever the Algerians played the long ball through the channels. He didn't have much to do on his goalline, but he showed his talent outside the penalty area tonight.

Question: Your team will face formidable quarter-final opponents in the shape of France. How do you rate your next opponents?

Löw: Of course, they're a very strong side who have gone from strength to strength under Didier Deschamps. Our matches against France have always been particularly volatile but we'll be as well prepared as ever.

1 July 2014
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