Germany face neighbours Netherlands in the UEFA Nations League tomorrow at 20:45 CET in Gelsenkirchen. Despite their relegation from the top tier of the Nations League being confirmed, Joachim Löw’s team want to win in front of the home crowd. The coach spoke to the media ahead of the game alongside Joshua Kimmich, with DFB.de compiling their thoughts.
...expectations for the Netherlands game: We’re all disappointed that we’ve been relegated from the top league of the Nations League. But we’re definitely not down and out. The competition carries on in 2020, just we’ll be in the league below. There’s still points to play for against the Netherlands tomorrow, so we want to put in a strong performance tomorrow and show the fans that we’re on the right track.
...Marco Reus’ situation: I can’t say whether he’ll play tomorrow. Yesterday evening, he still had some light pain in his foot. We’ll have to see how he feels after final training. He’ll be a doubt for tomorrow – if he’s not feeling 100%, then he won’t play.
...2018 and looking ahead to 2019: Overall, it’s been a tough year for us, tinged with quite a bit of disappointment. It’s important that we now learn the right lessons from this. I’ve been closely coordinating with Oliver Bierhoff and U21s Coach Stefan Kuntz, and we’re identifying ways to improve for the future. After a long period of success, it was foreseeable that we would have some setbacks – that’s normal in football. Other nations have had to experience this as well. It’s important that we reset and improve. I’m certain that we’ll improve. The team has great prospects. A lot of young players are starting to become of international class.
...the Netherlands: Our upcoming opponents always play with a lot of energy and have a good amount of aggression in their play. They’ve embraced squad upheaval well and managed to integrate good, young players into their team. They’re definitely on the up, something that has to do with their coach Ronald Koeman. He has a clear playing style and wants to see creative football on the pitch.
...Thomas Müller’s possible 100th international cap: Such a high amount of games played deserves the utmost respect. Thomas isn’t even 30, but he’s already so experienced. He’s rarely ever been injured - he’s always been with the national team and has always given his all. Perhaps he deserves a beer from me after the game tomorrow evening, as a reward for his 100 games (laughs).
...the aims for the Netherlands game: Regardless of our position in the table, we want to win the game. We are annoyed about it, but there is nothing we can do. However, we want to end the year on a high.
...his leadership role in the team: I am not thinking about the captain’s armband right now. I want to put in a good performance and be a role model in this way. The way you talk to your fellow teammates is important, even if you have to address certain issues. Of the young players, I have been in the team for the longest time. It is a huge honour that the coach has a lot of confidence in me.
...a possible milestone for Müller: 100 international games is truly amazing. It is something that all players want to achieve.###more###