Germany boss Joachim Low demands team stay focused for Kazakhstan clash
Published 25/03/2013 | 11:17
GERMANY boss Joachim Low has demanded his team remain focused for tomorrow's World Cup Qualifying Group C match against Kazakhstan in Nuremberg.
Low's side were 3-0 victors against the same opposition on Friday, with the triumph seeing them go five points clear of second-placed Sweden, who have a game in hand.
Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mario Gotze and Thomas Muller were all on target in Astana, but the former will be suspended for tomorrow's game.
Despite the Bayern Munich midfielder's absence, Germany should prove too strong for a Kazakhstan side who have picked up just one point from their opening five matches.
"If you score a victory away then there is the danger that you keep this in your head for some time," Low told reporters. "We have to keep reminding the players that we are playing at home and we will only win if we have the right attitude."
Republic of Ireland can move into second if they get past Austria at the Aviva Stadium - although they will be without record goalscorer Robbie Keane.
The Los Angeles Galaxy striker picked up a calf strain in Friday's goalless draw in Sweden and is set to be replaced by Wolves striker Kevin Doyle.
The Republic's home form has been far from ideal with a 6-1 reverse against Germany in October still fresh in their minds. However defender John O'Shea is confident they can register a vital three points.
"If we can start on the front foot, like we did against Sweden, and have the pressing, cohesive unit that we had the other night and stop Austria playing, then we can build our attacks from there," he said.
"But let's wait and see how they decide to approach the game as well.
"It will be on us as the home side, but we are not going to be too silly and go gung-ho because they have got lots of attacking threats.''
Austria are the group's second top scorers with 11 goals so far and are ahead of Giovanni Trapattoni's side courtesy of their far superior goal difference.
Thumping victories over Kazakhstan, and, on Friday against San Marino, have certainly helped Marcel Koller's side, who are wary of the Irish threat.
"Ireland are a different standard than the Faroe Islands. Every player must be aware that it will be harder," he told reporters.
"We were a little bit too loose at times and did not keep our organisation as I would have liked. And if we slack off against strong teams like the Irish, they will strike. If they see an opportunity, they will bite.
"We will pick a team so that we can win. We want to win. But if a draw looks likely, we will take a point."