With just one day to go until Germany face Estonia, Die Mannschaft are looking to take an important step towards qualifying for EURO 2020 with a win against the last place team in Group C on Saturday (20:45 CEST). During a press conference in the A. Le Coq Arena, head coach Joachim Löw spoke about the personnel situation within the squad. Manuel Neuer joined the coach and spoke about his relationship with the other goalkeepers in the squad. DFB.de has put together a summary of the key points from the press conference.
...the squad: Things are not as critical anymore. Ilkay Gündogan and Timo Werner both took part in training and have come through without any side-effects. We have three goalkeepers and 16 outfield players, which is more than enough. We have a good squad and don’t foresee there being any problems. We will make our final decisions on the lineup after our final training session. Ilkay will definitely play. I’m still mulling over a few options in attack.
...the match against Estonia: We’re taking tomorrow's match seriously and are looking to win by remaining highly focused. It won’t be a guaranteed win, despite the fact that we won our first meeting 8-0. First and foremost, we need to create chances for ourselves. We cannot allow ourselves to drop any points within the group, which is why I’m expecting the team to take this match seriously.
...his analysis of the match against Argentina: It was a game of two halves. It was not easy. We played well during the first half, and were able to maintain control and move up the pitch. We lost some of that control in the second half and lost possession often. We may have lacked a bit of courage, but it might also have come down to where we were on the pitch. We were too deep and didn’t generate any options for ourselves up front. However, that has nothing to do with individual players.
...Emre Can’s performance: I will decide tonight whether or not he will play. He did a very good job as part of the back three against Argentina, which is something that he’s used to. He’s not used to playing with four at the back. It was one of his best performances for us.
...Niklas Stark’s injury: Before we left for Tallinn, I spoke with Niklas Stark and with his coach, Ante Covic. He is bitterly disappointed but he will definitely have another chance to feature for us.
...Kai Havertz: He’s made progress with us over the last few months. He’s found his footing in Leverkusen. At that level, you need to pick up experience against strong teams. He is still very young and has a lot to learn still, but he is a very promising player.
...Serge Gnabry: In spring 2014 I made a couple trips to London. He played well in several matches and really impressed me. I wanted to include Serge in the squad for the 2014 World Cup, but he was unfortunately injured. He has been very strong in several matches for us recently. I like the way that he moves and how dangerous he is in front of goal. He is fortunate to have the chance to play at the very highest level. We need to encourage that and support him. Based on his performances over the last nine months, he needs to be on the pitch for us if he’s fit and able to play.
...the situation in November: I currently don't know who'll be in the squad in November. We will have to see if Leon Goretzka, Thilo Kehrer, Julian Draxler and Toni Kroos play or not. If they only play one or two club games in November, it doesn't make much sense to call them up as they won't have much match practice. I will have to see how things unfold in the coming weeks. We can plan some things for next year, but it depends on who gets injured, who stays fits and who is playing well. The warm up ahead of tournaments is never easy. The 2014 side had to go through various experiences. We will only see at the Euros if this team is capable of winning a title. We will have some players there who haven't played in a tournament before. Everything has to go perfectly if you want to win at that level. We will play against very good teams in March. Everybody needs to be fit then.
...his expectations ahead of the Estonia game: I expect the boys to concentrate ahead of the game. We have to use the space against Estonia and play a quick, passing game. We want to cause them problems at the back. We have to get a lot of quick shots away, so that we can score early and get the win.
...his relationship with Marc-André ter Stegen: We have a great relationship. He played well against Argentina. Us goalkeepers get on well - including Bernd Leno and Kevin Trapp. We haven't spoken about the situation on our own, we've simply carried on talking like we normally do. We don't need to make a mountain out of a molehill.
...the rapidly approaching Euro 2020: It's obviously a shame that not all our players can be with us right now. We try things out in the days between the games and everybody always sits in on the analysis. It would be better if all the players were here with us. It's an unfortunate situation right now. We need to insure that we have the best possible team available and that we can fight for the title.
...the young generation: It's a new scenario for me. I'm now one of the older players for both club and country. It's exciting to learn new people and the younger generation. They are all great lads who are motivated and they all work hard.
...his own future: There's nothing to say. I feel happy, fit and I'm playing well, so I'm not thinking about retiring right now.