In his last World Cup qualifying match as Germany head coach, Joachim Löw and Germany suffered defeat. The 61-year-old 2014 World Cup winner talks in an interview about the reasons behind the 2-1 home defeat to North Macedonia and looks ahead to the European Championships in the summer.
Question: How do you assess the defeat against North Macedonia?
Joachim Löw: We are hugely disappointed after this game and defeat. It was a setback. We didn't find our game. We didn't have the tempo we wanted, we lacked quick movement of the ball. There were a lot of mistakes in our play and we didn't find any solutions against North Macedonia, who sat deep. We also tried counterattacks and didn't find a way through.
Question: Why couldn't you change that?
Löw: We were neither dynamic nor lively. You had the feeling that there was a certain fatigue. The problem was that individual players were on the ball too long. It was too slow.
Question: Your team again failed to take advantage of some good chances. What do you put that down to?
Löw: There is no magic solution. You can train that, but not in competitive circumstances. We were too indecisive when it came to our finishing. We weren't consistent. At 1-1, Timo Werner had a huge chance. He probably blames himself the most. That was a shame for the team that we missed the chance. We have to highlight that and discuss it.
Question: Did the victories against Iceland and Romania create an illusion?
Löw: It wasn't an illusion. Everyone saw that the team performed some things well in those two games. We hardly allowed any chances. It was different this time. We have to keep working. We have to stabilise, and we didn't manage to do that this time. We have to accept that and make the right conclusions.
Question: After this new setback, is it time to bring back Thomas Müller and Mats Hummels?
Löw: You can't answer that question based on one game; the decision will be made in May. We're finishing the international period with a disappointing defeat. I have to think about what we can do better. We must not lose our belief and need to remember our strengths. We can have a good tournament. We have to bring consistency. We will think about it intensively in the coming days and weeks. We will look into everything again.