Joachim Löw answered journalists’ questions in a press conference shortly after the 1-1 draw against Ireland in the EURO 2016 qualifier in Gelsenkirchen. They only have themselves to blame for conceding a late goal. “We were too naive in the final minutes,only played the ball forwards and lost control of the game,” said Löw. The focus now lies ahead to the match against Gibraltar on 14th November in Nuremburg.
Question: How disappointed are you after the 1-1 draw against Ireland?
Joachim Löw: We’re all obviously very disappointed. We anticipated coming away from the matches against Poland and Ireland with more points. We now need to look forward. We will win against Gibraltar, gather ourselves and focus on our strengths. We will get back to where we were and fight back next year.”
Question: What went wrong after the first goal was scored?
Löw: We were too naive in the final minutes, only played the ball forwards and lost control of the game. We made a few bad passes and played the ball back to Manuel Neuer too often. We gave the opposition the chance because of this. It’s still annoying that Ireland used their only real chance to score the equaliser in the final seconds.
Question: What would you criticise about the way your team played?
Löw: We lacked depth in the first-half. We made it easy for Ireland to defend. We were better in the second-half and put more pressure on them, but we were unfortunately unable to score a second goal. A few players were lacking mental and physical freshness, but that’s what I expected and therefore will and precision were lacking as a result. You could see that one or two players had played at the World Cup.
Question: Mats Hummels arrived a step too late for the equaliser…
Löw: Overall, the centre back did things well. You have to bear in mind that Mats began preparing for the game a lot later and therefore it’s normal that he was lacking a bit of freshness. For the equaliser, we took our eyes off the goal scorer for a fraction of a second. But these things happen in football. We lacked organisation in the box for the goal. But we could have also prevented the cross. Question: Do you feel that after the slow start of the World Champions in the European qualifiers there is now some pressure?
Löw: No, we know this type of pressure because wins are always expected of a Germany team. That hasn’t changed since we became World Champions. We have always proven that we can overcome the pressure.
Question: In the 2-0 loss against Poland you had a lot more chances than your opponents and it was the same against Ireland. Will you have to rethink who you play up front?
Löw: Obviously to only score one goal in two games is not good enough considering how many chances we had. Against Ireland we didn’t have as many chances as we did in Warsaw, yet we lost 2-0. But I don’t see any reason to make personnel changes.
Question: Did your team lack leaders in the games against Poland and Ireland?
Löw: Obviously we miss players like Bastian Schweinsteiger, Sami Khedira and Mesut Özil. But Manuel Neuer, Thomas Müller, Jerome Boateng and Toni Kroos have taken on more responsibilty during these games and they did it well. But obviously we’re excited to have one or two of our more experienced players back in the side.
Recorded at the press conference in Gelsenkirchen