After two games in World Cup qualifying, the Germany national team are yet to concede or drop any points. Germany beat Iceland 3-0 before a 1-0 victory in Romania. Joachim Löw has his priorities in order with the Euros coming up this summer. The head coach gave an interview after the game in Bucharest.
Question: Mr. Löw, what are your thoughts after the 1-0 win against Romania?
Joachim Löw: Romania were clearly a stronger team than Iceland. I thought we played well for the most part and had a good second half too. If there’s anything to criticise then it’s the finishing. We could have made life easier for ourselves and killed the game off earlier. We have to work on that but we got the three points so we can be pleased. It’s something to build on. We didn’t play the ball in behind often enough and that’s something we can improve.
Question: You only turned to the bench very late on. Are you starting to work out what your preferred XI is?
Löw: We have to gel. I only changed things late on because we had the game in our grasp, meaning that it wasn’t urgent to make the changes.
Question: The end got a bit nervy...
Löw: If you don’t increase the lead to 2-0 then Romania obviously have nothing to lose at the end. They have a team that is capable of carving out a chance.
Question: What’s the plan for the next few days?
Löw: We will travel back overnight and then have a day of recovery on Monday. On Tuesday we will prepare for the third game and on Wednesday we have to give our all to win the game. Nine points would be the perfect start. We’re headed in the right direction in qualifying.
Question: Serge Gnabry and Kai Havertz look like they have a good understanding. Is it just a case of their playing styles suiting one another?
Löw: The goal was really well made. All three forward players, with Leroy Sané as well, offer something different: one will come short while the others go in behind. We still have to finetune that. Kai Havertz has some great qualities, like his technique and his finishing. Serge Gnabry is hugely important in front of goal and with his distribution of the ball. They have synced up well.
Question: How do you see Timo Werner’s role in the team?
Löw: Timo is a dangerous player with unbelievable pace. I know what he is capable of. I am pleased with him and he is an important player for us. He will get his chance, maybe even on Wednesday.
Question: North Macedonia is perhaps the easiest of the three games. Will you rotate the team at all?
Löw: One or two of the players took knocks, so we have to do the recovery work and then we will see. Obviously it’s good to settle as a team and so I won’t change things completely. But it might be that there’s a few fresh players coming into the team. I can’t give a definitive answer yet.
Question: Looking at both games together, where has the team made the most progress compared to last year?
Löw: Last year was ridiculously hard, but even back then I felt that the team was ambitious and had plenty of desire. There was a good spirit in the squad. We had some good games but weren’t consistent. There’s a huge hunger now looking ahead to the Euros. There’s a lot of energy and activity to be seen in training and in matches. Overall, it was an improvement on the Iceland game.