Preparation for the European Championship is up and running in Ascona, however, Die Mannschaft return to Germany tomorrow to face Slovakia in a friendly, which takes place in Augsburg. Head coach Joachim Löw faced the press earlier today to discuss tactics, training and personnel.
...the training camp: "The conditions here are very good. It certainly makes preparation easier. Our match against the U20 side was good – it was good to try things out. Some worked and some didn’t, so it’s good to know what we need to focus on. We spoke to a lot of the players as individuals after the match. To summarise, the atmosphere is good and everyone is focussed."
...the game with Slovakia: "We studied Slovakia intensively and passed on our first impressions to the team. Slovakia were good in qualifying and play football in a similar way to Poland and the Ukraine. They are organised and quick at the back. They’re also have strong on the counter. It will be a good test."
...his expectations for the game: "No one will want to take control of the game and push us back into our own half - it won't happen. We are expecting to face defensively minded teams and to a point Slovakia are like this too. We want to see how good we are at avoiding counterattacks. We want to see how the players react to tough situations, so it will be a good test for us. The result isn’t overly important though. It’s also worth noting that our training is geared towards the start of the tournament. Therefore it could be the case that our performance won't be as energetic as usual on Sunday."
...who will be captain against Slovakia: "I'll decide tomorrow and then let the player know."
...personnel: "The players nursing minor injuries are improving daily. I'm talking about Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mats Hummels and Marco Reus. Karim Bellarabi picked up a slight strain against the U20 side, but we expect him to return to running sessions tomorrow or the day after. Bernd Leno will start in goal against Slovakia and we are planning to bring on Marc-André ter Stegen for the second half. Hummels, Bellarabi, Schweinsteiger, Manuel Neuer, Reus, Mesut Özil and Thomas Müller will not make the trip. They will be in training here on site. I plan on making full use of my substitutes. Lukas Podolski will join the squad in Augsburg and then fly back with us."
...debutants making the EURO squad: "I don't want to make a final judgement on that issue yet. The game is important and I plan on giving all of them some time on the pitch - Julian Brandt, Julian Weigl and Joshua Kimmich will definitely make an appearance. Leroy Sané will play at least 45 minutes. I want to see them in this game. They are technically skilled and each has their own strengths that they bring to the team. They are eager to learn new things and ask us questions. They are completely focussed and I don't want to put them under any pressure. With all the tension that we experience, I don't want them to forget to stay loose. They are allowed to make mistakes. Even if some of them don't make the final squad, we will certainly see them again after the tournament."
...the injured players: "We will sit down with our medical staff on Monday and discuss the situation. At the moment it looks quite promising with the injured players. Schweinsteiger is training at his maximum conditional level but matches and training are two different things. We will get an idea of the situation of each individual player and then make a final decision on Tuesday."
...players potentially joining new clubs: "I don't talk to any of them about it right now. I've already done that. The only thing that I'm interested in is their performances in training and in our games. We talk about sporting issues, which are important to me. We will see what the players decide after the tournament. I'm not interested in any transfers right now."
...on the game with the U20 side: "We played out various scenarios. One time they were supposed to attack us high up the pitch and put pressure on us and then we had them defend from a really deep position. On a few occasions we managed to find the right solutions, but at times also failed to find the right time for a pass. We had good moments but sometimes also took too long to circulate the ball around and couldn't close in on the target. There were some critical points in terms of positions and who to play on the position. Obviously you will learn things from these type of games."