Wednesday 21 November 2018

New Loew for Germany as Cup warm-up woes continue

Joachim Loew. Photo: Getty Images
Joachim Loew. Photo: Getty Images

Jamie Holland

Germany coach Joachim Loew knows there is still plenty for his reigning champions to work on ahead of the World Cup Finals after their winless run was extended by a 2-1 defeat to Austria at the Worthersee Stadion in Klagenfurt on Saturday.

Loew's team have not won a game since last October, drawing with England, France and Spain and losing to Brazil and now Austria, since beating Azerbaijan.

Germany led early on through Mesut Ozil's strike, but second-half goals from Martin Hinteregger and Alessandro Schopf turned the match on its head and gave Austria, who will not be at the World Cup in Russia later this month, a seventh successive victory.

"It's a frustrating defeat because we didn't implement a lot of what we had talked about," Loew said.

"I said a few moments ago that I am upset. I am not upset about the loss, not upset about losing the game, I am upset about the way we lost it.

"It was our own fault, because after taking the lead we controlled the game, but right before the break and the first 15 to 20 minutes after the break we weren't in the game at all. We lost the ball unbelievably often, there were so many turnovers.

Title

"We are not used to that from our team. We let the Austrians get back in the game."

Germany, who will also face Saudi Arabia at the BayArena before beginning the defence of their title against Mexico with their Group F opener on June 17 in Moscow, started the match brightly but struggled to create many chances.

Loew's team toiled to create anything of note in reply to Austria's two second-half goals and while the starting XI against Mexico will look a lot different to the team on Saturday, Germany's inability to pose much of an attacking threat will be a worry to Loew.

He said: "We played decent football at times in the first-half, but then we just stopped clicking. We allowed Austria to put in crosses and get shots away. There's a lot to digest."

On a brighter note for the boss, goalkeeper Manuel Neuer made his first start since September 2017 after recovering from a broken foot.

"Concerning Manuel Neuer, yes, I think it was a very satisfying comeback," said Loew.

"He doesn't have any problems with his foot after the game, that's important.

"And the second thing was that he reacted great in many situations, he reacted fast.

"You couldn't tell he didn't play for a while, and that's why I am absolutely satisfied from what I saw from Manuel today."

Irish Independent

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