For Manuel Neuer, the 7-1 training match against the Germany U20 team was the first time he’s played in competitive conditions after a long injury lay-off. The World Cup winner impressed in the friendly, as goalkeeping coach Andreas Köpke confirmed. Another World Cup winner, Mats Hummels, also spoke in Eppan.
...the result in the training game against the U20s: It’s become a thing to take a youth team along to the training camp before a big tournament to try out different tactics. Manuel needs these games to be 100% fit again after his long time out injured. The game against the U20s was mostly about build-up play and tactics. Ter Stegen played in goal for the first half and Neuer in the second half. It makes no sense to play four keepers in a 60-minute match.
...Manuel Neuer’s current situation: We’ll play another training game against the U20s on Wednesday, when other lads will get a chance to play and Manuel will play a half again. Games like this help him to rebuild his confidence and get back into the swing of things. I haven’t seen any constraints in training with regard to his jumping power and movement – it’s as if he’s never been away from the game. Now we needs to regain his confidence with his feet. He’s recovering as well as we expected him to.
...the plan for the Austria game: There was another scan and his foot is completely healed, which is reassuring. As it stands, Manuel will play on Saturday; nothing is standing in his way. These are the games he needs. It’ll be a real test and he’ll have a lot to do, then we need to decide whether he’ll come to the World Cup or not. It’s a tricky situation, but I have a really, really good feeling. We still have a bit of time until we have to announce our final decision on 4th June. I’m in constant contact with both Manu and the physios.
...Jerome Boateng’s current situation: We have no worries about Jerome at the moment; he has no problems. He can train well and increase the workload more and more. And we still have a bit of time.
...Toni Kroos’ late arrival: We would have given Toni time off until the first game and he would’ve performed at the top level. But you also have to come back down mentally. We still have a second international friendly before the World Cup (against Saudi Arabia on 8th June in Leverkusen) in which Toni can play. First he should enjoy his Champions League title win and then he’ll come to us full with joy.
...Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius: It’s a horrible situation for him. We sent him a text message directly and tried to give him a boost. You have to watch how he comes away from the situation. He was an option, but not in the tighter selection process. You have to wish him the best in a situation like this.
...the training camp in Eppan: You can see the team’s quality in training. Everyone wants to offer everything they’ve got in all parts of the team. There’s a really good atmosphere. I had a little niggle but now I’m fine. The past has shown that those responsible have done excellent jobs and brought us up to a good starting level for the tournament.
...the goalkeepers: Team chemistry is important all over the pitch. It’s different with goalkeepers, because they don’t play literally alongside any players and we don’t move around the pitch together. Regardless of that, both are great options. We’ve known Marc and Manu a very long time, so I have no worries. Whoever it is, it’ll work.
...comparisons to 2014: We didn’t go into the tournament as favourites then. We’re a strong team, but there are a lot of strong teams which can cause upsets. You have to have quality and character to win. But it’s not a certainty because luck also plays a role.
...the drugs test in the morning: We gathered together at the place. The whole squad was there, I’ve never experienced it before.