Hansi Flick took a victory on his debut as national team coach, with a 2-0 win over Liechtenstein in St. Gallen, Switzerland. In an interview, the 56-year-old spoke about the win, as well as the upcoming test against Armenia, leaders of Germany’s world cup qualifying group J, in Stuttgart on Sunday (20:45 CEST).
How satisfied are you with your first win as national team coach?
Hansi Flick: It was a special win, as it’s my first game. That said, we all wanted to score more goals – Liechtenstein are a team who we should be beating convincingly. Not everything went perfectly to plan, but there is enormous quality here, without question, and I understand that people in Germany will be disappointed by this result. We all know that we have some way to go.
What do you think were the clearest problems?
Flick: We can see that the team doesn’t trust itself enough to get goals. There were a lot of opportunities where we played well but missed the final pass. It would have been better to score early and get that confidence back. The first half was particularly poor; the team were too slow and lacked tempo, but we brought it back up a bit after half time. At the end of the day, it was a win, but not one we’re completely happy with. I can’t blame the team though – they tried to press high and win the ball, and fixed their mistakes when they made them.
How will you get some players to improve within the team?
Flick: We have spoken a lot with the players. I was impressed with our first training sessions – the quality in training is really excellent, but it went missing on the pitch. We need to deliver when it matters – we’ll talk about that in the coming days.
You decided to start Leroy Sané and Timo Werner in the game, despite their problems. Have they regained your trust?
Flick: They showed me the quality they have. Timo made some great runs and made a good case to start. It was difficult for him to get in behind against such a compact defence. Leroy made a couple of mistakes in the second half but made up for them immediately. He worked well for the second goal and showed us that he’s on the way back to form.
Has Jamal Musiala made the case for you to put him in from the start again?
Flick: He’s proved his quality at Bayern both last season and in the last few weeks. He set up Timo’s goal with his work today too – he’s always an option.
What do you expect from Sunday’s game against Armenia?
Flick: It’s an important game; Armenia are leading the group and we can overtake them with a win, so that’s our aim. Off the ball everything is in order, we need to be more effective and work in harmony with each other going forward.