National team head coach Hansi Flick and Germany defender Thilo Kehrer spoke at a press conference one day before the World Cup qualifer against Romania in Hamburg (Friday, 20:45 CEST). DFB.de brings you the most important quotes.
…the current situation: It’s great to see that everyone is fit and healthy. If nothing changes at training, then everyone will be able to play. We’re very pleased and are having a lot of fun. There’s a great atmosphere in the team, the new and young players have received warm welcomes. We were particularly impressed by yesterday’s session. It was intense and full of quality. We therefore decided to skip the last tactical drill, because the intensity was so high and we want to preserve all our energy for the Romania game. We have to show the same energy at training as we would in a game.
…Romania: We’re coming up against a team that wants to play football and move the ball forward. They’ve kept a clean sheet in each of their last three qualifiers, which means they have a strong, consistent defence. We want to put them under pressure. It’s important that we win, play well and entertain the fans.
…his personal situation: I have nothing but positive thoughts on my experiences over the last two years including now. It’s been like living a dream and experiencing it was an outstanding team. It has taught me where I belong: Next to the pitch with a team that supports me and is loyal. It’s important to have a good team around you that improves you.
…Thilo Kehrer: Over the course of September, I was impressed by his physical condition and his confidence. He can play in any defensive position when needed. He can also play as a holding midfielder.
…the squad: We decided to take 20 outfielders and three goalkeepers. We’ve tried to double up in every position. Everyone who is in the squad has tremendous quality and they all want to soak up the information we’re giving them. That’s a good basis that we have here. We’ve got selection headaches in all the individual positions, but that’s better than the other way round. I can sense that being here means a lot to the players.
…his core eleven: We need to use the players who are a step ahead. That’s our job. We always speak to the players and explain why they are or aren’t playing.
...the next steps: We didn’t have much time in September to implement a new style of play. Now, we’ve gone into more detail with the players at each individual position. For us, it’s important to have a solid backline and to be strong out of possession. However, our attack is also important, especially our build-up play and our movement in the final third. That changes from game to game, because every opponent has a different style of play. We will need to thoroughly analyse things and find spaces that we can exploit.
...the central defenders: There are few players that are guaranteed to start. It always depends on their current form. We have a lot of quality at this position. In terms of Toni [Rüdiger] or Niklas [Süle], they have both done well, which is why they will both start tomorrow. They are currently working well together and lend a lot of stability to our backline. As a player, Toni is very important because he plays with a lot of intensity and is aggressive.
...Timo Werner: Every day in training, there’s the expectation that we are successful. Everyone needs to have the initiative to want to improve, which applies at their clubs as well. He can be pleased with his development at Chelsea, as he’s on the right path there. However, it’s hard to break into this Chelsea side. Kai Havertz is also dealing with this at the moment – they have a very talented squad. But, it’s normal to go through periods like this over the course of a career. From my point of view, what’s important is that everyone is later able to look back and think “I did a lot right.”
...Leroy Sané: In the end, it comes down to the player themselves, and as coaches all we can do is support them. Leroy has undergone a certain development. He always tries to switch over after losing possession or tries to put his opponents under pressure and win back the ball. The support from the fans is important for him, as it can help give him a boost. Every good performance he delivers will give him more self-confidence.
...the situation ahead of the match against Romania: We delivered three strong performances in September. We know that we have a lot of quality and potential in our squad. We want to continue to work and build on these positive results. That's what we work on in every training session: growing closer as a team and bringing our qualities to the pitch.
...his favourite position: I think that I play the best when I’m at centre-back. But, I’m also able to adjust quickly and fill other positions, such as on the right or left side of defence. I’m happy when the coach picks me and can adjust myself based on where I’m playing.
...his development: Last season was tough. I had several injuries that kept knocking me off my rhythm. Over the summer, I took the time to recover completely from various minor injuries and tried to fight my way back in the team during pre-season. It comes down to working hard, and I’m very happy that things have been going well so far this season and want to continue working hard.