Hansi Flick spoke to the media in Amsterdam ahead of tomorrow’s game against old rivals the Netherlands. The Germany head coach covered a range of topics, including Tuesday’s opponents, who could feature and how the team are preparing. Thilo Kehrer also answered questions in the final press conference before the game.
… his expectations for the game: We go into every game to win but we have the necessary respect for our opponents. The Dutch have a team that can play great football and they have some top players in their ranks. It will be a good indicator for us but our team also has lots of quality. We want to try and put our opponents under pressure and force them to make mistakes, but we also want to play our own game. Every win gives you more confidence and that is what we need.
… who could feature: We have lots of quality in our squad. I can say that Manuel Neuer and Antonio Rüdiger will both start. It is always good to have a solid spine in the team. Everything else we'll decide in due course, but we will have an incredibly well prepared team out on the pitch.
… Thomas Müller: If he performs to his potential then he’ll always play. He’s a player who brings a lot to the team both on and off the pitch and helps us in how we operate. He supports every individual on the pitch. He is someone who not only serves the team but also helps the coaching team. We need good performances and that’s what he brings. For me, age is just a number and he will also play against the Netherlands.
… Jamal Musiala: He is someone who plays with freedom and it’s great to watch. He can play in lots of different positions, therefore we may also consider playing him as a number six so we can build from the back. I don’t want to go into too much detail and we’ll wait and see what happens.
… his opening record as head coach: I’m not really interested in the run. If we are able to say at the end of December that we’ve won eight games in a row, then I’ll be happy because everyone knows what that would mean. We have the next game ahead of us know and we want to win. That’s the aim that we need to have. I can see the team is developing well.
… Thilo Kehrer: It’s important to have players who can play in several positions. He is one of the surprises and he’s won a lot of plus points from me in the way that he goes about things.
… strengths from set pieces: We had an idea when we brought in Mads Buttgereit. I had been aware of him for a long time and we’re pleased that he’s a part of the team. He’s someone who has a good approach. It’s good when it’s not always the head coach who is explaining things. He’s got some good ideas that the players have taken on board well. It’s good to see when a plan comes together. Our record from set pieces speaks for itself.
… Nico Schlotterbeck: He’s a young player who’s on a good path. He’s been confident in his play and is very aggressive against the ball. He’s shown that he is an asset to the team.
… the opposition: I can say that I and the whole team are all looking forward to the game. It will definitely be a different kind of game to the one againt Israel Netherlands are a great footballing nation with good players and a similar team to us: with young yet experienced palyeres. We can look forward to a very good game. The past games have given us confidence; we want to show that and of course, our aim is to win.
… the role of the leaders of the defence: It’s important for all defenders to speak and give each other directions and help on the pitch. Toni [Rüdiger] with 50 caps will be the one with the most appearances in the squad. He is someone who talks to us a lot and gives a lot of directions.
… guarantees of game time: There are no guarantees. You have to earn the right to play. Things move really quickly in football and you have to deliver every day. If you manage that, you’ll get a good chance to play.